As I type this Blog Action Day post, my two-month-old daughter is nursing. It’s very clear to me that whatever I put in my body is literally helping to build hers. Ever since I read in Sandra Steingraber’s Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood about breast milk being contaminated with persistent organic pollutants, I’ve had a whole new understanding of the relationship between the planet and our bodies.
I have been off the bottled water train for a good while now, but after last night’s Holistic Moms meeting with speaker Diane MacEachern of The Big Green Purse, I’m even more committed. Diane explained that it takes two gallons of water to produce every gallon of bottled water. She also noted that for a time, Fiji residents did not have enough water because it was being over-harvested, so to speak, to bottle to send elsewhere. And she noted that many studies are finding that bottled water is no different from tap water.
One of the reasons I stopped drinking bottled water was to avoid the chemicals that can leach from the plastic. BPA can act as a xenoestrogen, and when I was struggling with infertility due to estrogen dominance, I wanted to get chemicals and endocrine disruptors out of my body, so I gave up the bottled water,and the more I learned, I also cleared out my cabinet of skin care products that contain these harmful substance and then end up in our water system.
Right now I’m using metal bottles purchased at My Organic Market and reuseit.com (formerly ResuableBags.com), but I may look to switch to glass bottles, which are now available at reuseit.com and even at Amazon.com (Despite the negative effect of its bigness on smaller businesses, one good thing about Amazon is that you can get a lot of stuff from one central place shipped right to your door instead of getting a bunch of stuff from a bunch of different places, which takes more time and gas.)
In our house, we have a Doulton under-the-counter filter (purchased from Radiant Life) with a special chamber that is supposed to remove fluoride, which has been linked to numerous health problems and is not necessary for healthy teeth. I’m so grateful that my parents did not have me participate in fluoride treatments at my elementary school when we lived in a rural area with well water. I did not have a single cavity before my twenties. I don’t use toothpaste with fluoride, and neither does my dentist, who links to this whole fluoride bibliography on his website. I haven’t had any cavities for over ten years (and even those I’m dubious of being real).
Someday, I might invest in a whole house filtration system so that all of our water would be free of fluoride and also chlorine. We have filters on our showerheads, but not on our faucets (or on our garden hoses, or for our laundry).
I appreciate the many groups and individuals working on issues of water safety and hope everyone will pay attention to what goes in — and on — our bodies.