November 05, 2007

Bottled Water as Sin

Eric on the reinvention of morality.

My mother and I squabble over this all the time. She tends to drink tap water, but I feel that (depending on the municipality I'm in at any given time) it tends to improve my water-consumption to drink bottled. Sometimes I drink tap stuff for the fluoride and extra minerals, or for conservation reasons, or to save money.

But plastic bottles are lighter than anything else out there, and the water doesn't spill out of them in a car as it does from water tumblers/glasses. Furthermore, ordinary bottles can be thrown away at airports and the like, when one is prohibited from bringing liquids into any given area. Finally, the smallest water bottles ("vendable" versions, and those marketed to kids) can fit in one's purse, so one can always have water around.

And regular bottles are supremely recyclable. So I just don't see the problem.

Growing up in a parsimonious family, I'm well aware that just about any move any person can possibly make can be considered "wasteful." Any consumption of resources whatsoever can be made into a source of shame.

But what, exactly, is the point to that? We have to make rational cost-benefit analyses on these issues.

At least, I have to.

Posted by Attila Girl at November 5, 2007 09:47 AM | TrackBack

As I posted on the post, if you have any reason to watch what you send through your kidneys, you'll probably back up bottled water. Some municpal tap water, while perfectly fine for a person with two healthy kidneys, is verboten for a dialysis patient. Even those with one kidney (naturally or via surgery) should keep an eye on the water content.

Posted by: Lysander at November 5, 2007 01:04 PM

What Lysander says should be tempered with the knowledge of both your municipality's track record of water quality, and the company that produces the brand you are considering drinking.

As for it being a "sin," it brings to mind the point that the radical environmental movement is trying to inculcate guilt into anyone who is affluent.

Posted by: John at November 5, 2007 03:01 PM

When the $$ were going to Europe for Perrier and Evian. it was the thing to do. Now that Coke and Pepsi lead the way, it is now a sin of excess.

Posted by: Darrell at November 5, 2007 04:15 PM

John -

I agree. I'm not advocating some "Brand X" bottled water over tap, but knowing what is coming out of the tap and what is coming in the bottle.

Posted by: Lysander at November 6, 2007 10:38 AM

Flouride (actually flourosic acid) + copper pipe = Alzheimers.

Most of the webpages that carried the original story have disappeared, but this, less scientific one, is still up.


Posted by: Bob at November 6, 2007 12:01 PM

"Flouride (actually flourosic acid) + copper pipe = Alzheimers."

Absent any scientific knowledge of that "fact," of course.

Ditto aluminum, lead(including solder for copper pipes), smoking, lack of intellectual stimulation, acetylcholine deficiency, genetic abnormalities, lack of physical exercise, aging(and senescence in general), lack of social interaction, head injuries, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: Darrell at November 7, 2007 09:13 AM

Darrell, the guy is a scientist and he's published.

Also, (from one of the vanished articles) the water
has to be acidic enough to get the copper in it.

FWIW, last I read, the "flouride" the MWD puts in our water was
actually industrial flourosic acid, not some sort of pharmaceutical additive. And they've been sued because
they regulate the content so poorly that allegedly kids are
getting flourosis of the teeth.


Posted by: Bob at November 7, 2007 05:19 PM

I thought there were genetic contributors to Alzheimer's. And that nuns who do crossword puzzles don't get it as much. Or something.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 7, 2007 11:37 PM

"nuns who do crossword puzzles don't get it as much."

You were referring to Alzheimer's, right?

Lately, I've been reading "Faith and the Placebo Effect"
by Lolette Kuby. Her thesis is that whatever you believe
will heal you will heal you. She also discusses the
"nocebo effect" -- which might be described as whatever
you believe will kill you will kill you.

She had breast cancer.
(Replace the 'X' with an 'l' -- your content filter doesn't
like "pX".)


Posted by: Bob at November 8, 2007 10:25 AM

Yes--Alzheimer's. Though I was being facetious.

I had a great-aunt with Alzheimer's, and I may be third in a matrilineal sequence of women with an extreme fear of dementia.

The placebo effect does, I think, provide us with a window into the unharnessed power of the human brain.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 8, 2007 02:01 PM

Just saying nothing explains it totally. Not yet. Correlations are not causation. When an answer is found I will let you know. All the factors I listed have been linked at one time or another. They comprise the questions. One day we'll have an answer.

Posted by: Darrell at November 8, 2007 09:43 PM

By the time an answer is found, you'll let me know and I'll promptly forget ;)

Yeah--I know about the causality arrow problem. But the genetic argument is very seductive to me (in areas other than obesity, of course--though it could be that there are families in which such things run, but every once in a while a supremely disceplined ubergirl arises, and maintains something like a normal weight against all odds, which makes her all the more admirable, blah blah blah . . .).

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 9, 2007 12:25 AM

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