Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Water Bottles, Cavities, & Death

I know, the title seems to be a stretch, but just give me a moment of your time and I will take you on a journey through my mind… There was once a television program entitled Connections hosted by James Burke that would take seemingly random events through history and evolve the connection of the events to a relevant modern evolution. So I have a little geek in me, but there are a couple of thing that have been bothering me and I thought I could use the shows platform for literary analogy.

First off, I despise the use and production of water bottles! Not only do I dislike the plastic bottle itself, but the fact that water is purchased and consumed from a bottle. I have never had a problem drinking tap water and in most cases filling up a reusable container of tap water when I am on the go. What is the big deal? Taste? Then add a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumbers… If you have never had cucumber flavored water, you are missing out by the way. Anyway, I digress…

Many years ago, I learned of the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch and was intrigued by the way that this garbage would collect and swirl in the immensity of the Pacific Ocean upwards of 4 million tons of it. I have followed with intrigue the many studies and efforts to clean it up, but am still dissatisfied with the reporting and results. One of the most striking things about the patch is the amount of plastic. It is carried by the currents and caught up in a vortex of current that creates the patch estimated to be as large as Texas. I am absolutely awe struck that so much garbage has been deposited into our great oceans. I mentioned death in the title because this garbage patch is surely killing and maiming aquatic life. Cavities you say?

There has been a recent study in Science Daily that drinking bottled water or not drinking tap water is causing higher instances of tooth decay. The reason is fairly simple, fluoride is added to our drinking water supply, but filtered out in the manufacturing of bottled water. You don’t like chlorine added to your tap water? I actually prefer this over the many diseases you could get if it was not present. Add some cucumbers and you are good-to-go. In other words, drinking tap water helps fight tooth decay while decreasing the garbage patch by not purchasing water bottles made of plastic ending up in the Pacific Ocean killing the marine life. So you see, Water Bottles = Cavities = Death – There you have the connections in true James Burke form.


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