As per a new study conducted in Barcelona, the cost of extraction of resources for bottled water will be 3,500 times and approximately 1,400 times more impact on ecosystems as compared to tap water.
In recent years, the consumption of bottled water has been increasing sharply on a global scale. This is due to people's perception of the presence of chemical compounds in tap water. The study, led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), was aimed at providing data about three different water consumption choices: bottled water, tap water, and filtered tap water in the city of Barcelona.
'THMs Associated With Cancer'
"While it is true that tap water may contain trihalomethanes (THM) derived from the disinfection process and that THMs are associated with bladder cancer, our study shows that due to the high quality of the tap water in Barcelona, the risk for health is small, especially when we take into account the overall impacts of bottled water," ISGlobal researcher Cristina Villanueva said.
Published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, the study showed that a complete shift to tap water would increase the overall number of years of life lost in the city of Barcelona to 309. Adding domestic filtration to tap water would reduce that risk considerably, lowering the total number of years of life lost to 36, the study showed.
Using Domestic Filters
The study suggests using "domestic filters" to solve the problem. "The use of domestic filters, in addition to improving the taste and odour of tap water, can substantially reduce THMs levels in some cases. For this reason, filtered tap water is a good alternative. Even though we didn't have enough data to measure it's environmental impactfully, we know it is much lower than that of bottled water," ISGlobal researcher Cathryn Tonne added.