PURE WATER IS THE WORLD’S FIRST AND FOREMOST MEDICINE/ PETROCHEMICALS
Dan and I wish you all a fabulous weekend and continue to wish you all from the bad obstacles around us. Saturdays are a great relief from our stressful life, yet there is something bitter about waiting desperately for the weekend to come and free us from our overwhelming duties. If we want a life well-lived, filled with meaning and joy, we must look at each day as if it were Saturday.
I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday. – Chip Gaines
Today, I’m going to write on one more chemical that is polluting our waters. This is petrochemicals and even with very low exposure, it can cause cancer.
Petrochemicals are found in a wide array of household items, from plastic wrap and trash bags to plastic bottles. The fact is that humans rely so heavily on petrochemicals, their production is high, affecting the environment via oil spills on land and sea and fossil fuel combustion emissions.
Petrochemicals are any products made from petroleum. You're probably aware gasoline and plastic start out as petroleum, but petrochemicals are incredibly versatile and are incorporated into a huge range of products ranging from groceries to rocket fuel.
Large oil spills cause widespread damage in the marine environment. Intertidal habitats including rocky coasts, sand flats, mudflats and salt marshes are particularly vulnerable according to the U.K. Marine Special Areas of Conservation website. Oil coats the surface of the water as well as the sediment surfaces and vegetation surfaces, smothering plant life and microbial life, which affects the rest of the food chain. Ocean animals are poisoned and smothered as well. Large spills are lethal to coral reefs as well, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Water is the basis of life and the blue arteries of the earth! Everything in the non-marine environment depends on freshwater to survive. Sandra Postel
Raw crude oil and natural gas are purified into a relatively small number of hydrocarbons (combinations of hydrogen and carbon). These are used directly in manufacturing and transportation or act as feedstock to make other chemicals. The Primary Hydrocarbons:
Methane: a greenhouse gas that can be used as fuel and is often included in rocket fuel
Ethylene: used to make plastics and films, as well as detergents, synthetic lubricants, and styrenes (used to make protective packaging)
Propylene: a colorless, odorless gas used for fuel and to make polypropylene, a versatile plastic polymer used to make products ranging from carpets to structural foam
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Butanes: hydrocarbon gases that are generally used for fuel and in industry
Butadiene: used in the manufacture of synthetic rubbers
BTX (benzene, toluene, xylene): benzene, toluene, and xylene are aromatic hydrocarbons. A major part of gasoline, benzene is also used to make nylon fibers which, in turn, are used to make clothing, packaging, and many other products
Water is one of the most basic of all needs -- we cannot live for more than a few days without it. And yet, most people take water for granted. We waste water needlessly and don't realize that clean water is a very limited resource. More than 1 billion people around the world have no access to safe, clean drinking water, and over 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation service. Over 2 million people die each year because of unsafe water - and most of them are children! Robert Alan Silverstein
The plastic used for packaging water and drinks is usually polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is a polymer which comes from petroleum hydrocarbons. PET is polymerised carefully to manufacture plastic which is then molded into bottles.
Bottled water first hit the markets in 1940 and since the petrochemical materials take hundreds of years to decompose, most of these water bottles, with or without water, still exist on the planet.
Surprisingly, the PET is fully recyclable. The bottles can be remade with the same plastic material called RPet. But the majority of brands refuse it just because they can’t compromise the shiny and perfect look of the bottles.
They do get recycled but only around 7% of the ones collected for recycling actually get recycled. Brands do not want to invest in collecting and sorting bottles and people are just not interested in it.
Most of the water bottles end up in landfills and the ocean. The US is the biggest consumer of plastic bottles and their massive amount of plastic along with the plastic from other countries has resulted in a huge patch of garbage in the mid-ocean, called the great pacific garbage patch.
Every second, 20,000 plastic bottles are bought worldwide. Studies predict that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. The amount of plastic water bottles used in the US in a week is enough to circle the globe more than 5 times. Moreover, the amount you pay for bottled water is mostly for the bottle, not water. Water doesn’t expire, the bottle does.
Water is fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a healthy life in human dignity. It is a pre-requisite to the realization of all other human rights. The United Nations
Who ever thought of the plastic that our bottle water is in could be what is making us sick? If you've ever glanced at the bottom of your water bottle or meal prep container, you may have seen a number printed on the plastic. These numbers are crucial for indicating and understanding the type of plastic you're using — and the potential health risks it may pose.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
If your soda bottle or peanut butter jar has the number one printed on the bottom, it's a PET container, according to the Sea Studios Foundation. These containers are light-weight, clear and smooth in texture — and intended for single use only.
One of the most easily recycled plastic varieties, PET is commonly used for water or soda bottles, detergent containers and peanut butter jars. Currently, there are no known health issues or concerns associated with this plastic and it is commonly recycled into new bottles or polyester fabric.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Like PET, HDPE is a frequently used, safe plastic container. It's denoted by a number 1 on plastic containers. HDPE products are safe and are not known to transmit any chemicals into foods or drinks, making this plastic a low health risk variety, according to Chemical Safety Facts.
This plastic is most often used for milk or water jugs, laundry detergents and shampoo bottles. Like PET, HDPE is a single-use container and should be properly recycled after use. Typically, these containers are either recycled back into new containers or converted into plastic lumber, pipes, rope or toys, according to the Sea Studios Foundation.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or V)
While PET and HDPE don't have any associated health risks, PVC (which is denoted by a number 3 on plastic) has been shown to produce harmful chemicals like lead, DEHA and dioxins in manufacturing, disposal or destruction, according to the Sea Studios Foundation.
Exposure to these chemicals may lead to decreased birth weight, learning or behavioral problems in children or hormone disruption. Due to the potential risks PVC poses toward babies and young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding this plastic in kids' food containers.
PVC is often found in clear food packaging or cling wrap, some plastic squeeze bottles, vinyl pipes and shower curtains. This type of plastic is one of the least recyclable varieties due to the chemical additives.
Low-Density Polyethelene (LDPE)
Low-density polyethelene is a generally safe plastic variety that has no known health risks associated with use. However, the manufacturing of LDPE does produce organic pollutants, causing potential harm to the environment, according to the Sea Studios Foundation.
Not usually recycled, LDPE (denoted by the number 4) is most commonly used to package bread or frozen food. Most plastic wraps are also made of LDPE and are intended for single use only.
Polypropelene containers do not leach harmful chemicals into foods or liquids and are not associated with any known health issues. Typically, this plastic is translucent or opaque in color and has a high melting point, which typically makes these containers microwave or dishwasher safe, according to Chemical Safety Facts.
Type 5 plastic is used to make yogurt containers, cream cheese containers, maple syrup bottles or prescription bottles. Unlike other safe plastics, PP is not easily recycled due to varieties of type and grade, making it difficult to achieve the right consistency, according to the Sea Studios Foundation.
Polystyrene comes in rigid and formed shapes and is denoted by the number 5. While recycling this plastic is possible, it's not generally economically beneficial.
Rigid forms of PS plastic are typically found in CD cases or disposable cutlery, whereas formed PS typically comes in the form of Styrofoam, including packaging peanuts, egg cartons or building insulation.
Styrene is a chemical that can be released by polystyrene, which may act as a neurotoxin over time and has shown harmful effects on red-blood cells, the liver, kidney and stomach organs of animals, according to the Sea Studios Foundation.
When leached from polystyrene, styrene can be absorbed by food and stored in body fat once ingested. Over time, this exposure can lead to accumulation of this chemical in the body.
The number 7 indicates that your container is constructed with a mixed variety of other plastics. Typically, mixed plastics are practically impossible to recycle and pose the most potential health hazards, according to the Sea Studios Foundation. Polycarbonate plastic (often included in plastic seven), leaches bisphenol A (BPA) into food, a known endocrine disruptor. BPA may also create genetic damage and may affect development.
Mixed plastics are typically used to construct lids, medical storage containers, five-gallon water bottles and sports water bottles, among other items.
Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children's lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. Luna Leopold
Until Sunday, be safe and remember our water is the lifeblood of our bodies, our economy, our nation and our well-being.