EESA10 Assignment.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Growing concerns of humans about the palatability of tap water and the possible adverse effects it has on human health has been the target message bottled water companies are using in order to sell their products. The bottled water industry has been growing at a rate of 10% every year with a current worldwide market of approximately $35 billion and $5.7 billion of this market is in the U.S. alone (Raj, 2005). Major gaps in the regulation of the safety of tap water in reservoirs can account for the distrust that consumers have to tap water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once reported in 1996 that about 1 in 10 community tap water systems in the U.S. violated EPA's treatment standards, and 28% of tap water systems violated significant monitoring and reporting requirements. The tap water of more than 32 million Americans exceeded 2 parts per billion (ppb) arsenic and 80 to 100 million Americans drink tap water that contain very significant trihalomethane levels (over 40 ppb) and still formerly pass their standards. With this in mind, the piped connecting the municipal treatment plants to homes should not be disregarded as it can affect the safety of the drinking water. Water from homes with old pipes has a higher metal count which can result from rusting and corroding of the pipes. The high concentration of iron in these pipes can also facilitate bacterial growth. Lead, copper, and arsenic, which can leak from and to pipes, also poses a huge risk to humans as intoxication to these substances can lead to neurological disorders, circulatory and cardiovascular complications, and order system disorders (Blaurock-Busch, 2009). The perceived purity and safety of bottled water can account for these high numbers. In Canada, bottled water is regulated by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and these institutions treat it as food and therefore must comply with their standards and comply with the Food and Drugs Act. It makes sure that the water is disinfected, treated, and monitored which have been effective throughout the years as there has not been any major illnesses associated with bottled water consumption in Canada (Health Canada, 2009). This is particularly important especially for those with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other immune disorders and those particularly frail patients such as the elderly and newborns (Raj, 2005). Corporations also argue that bottled water is an effective way of promoting healthy lifestyle as it is a portable and convenient way of carrying water around. The increased benefit of water, as it is free from calories, caffeine, or sugars makes bottled water an effective diet drink that can potentially battle obesity (Raj, 2005). Minerals that are essential for human development are filtered in bottled water. Calcium Ca , Sodium Na , + and Magnesium Mg are some of the minerals that are not usually present in bottled water but are necessary in the 2+ normal development of some body systems. The average North American consumes insufficient quantities of Ca and Mg 2+ and too much Na+. The study suggests that drinking tap water can fulfill
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