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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Toxic Climbing Water Bottles 12-Oct-2007 At 9:11:38 AM The Keeper
In the concrete jungle mate, you are nothing more than a small item in the food chain as far as corporate consumption. That ain't no urbane myth but perhaps is more of a rural reality - Law of the Jungle - the big fish eat the little ones, particularly those not high on experience or savvy.

"A safe plastic if used only once, #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) is the most common resin used in disposable bottles. However, as #1 bottles are resused, which they commonly are, they can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a known carcinogen, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), a potential hormone disruptor. According to the January 2006 Journal of Environmental Monitoring, some PET bottled-water containers were found to leach antimony, an elemental metal that is an eye, skin, and lung irritant at high doses. Also, because the plastic is porous you'll likely get a swill of harmful bacteria with each gulp if you reuse #1 plastic bottles."

In addition, we should note the further problem "Last year Americans spent nearly $11
billion on over 8 billion gallons of bottled water, and then tossed over 22 billion empty
plastic bottles in the trash. In bottle production alone, the more than 70 million bottles of water consumed each day in the U.S. drain 1.5 million barrels of oil over the course
of one year." (From: Tapped Out: The True Cost of Bottled Water. National Geographic "The Green Guide" 2007).

Is is a useful strategy to get informed on matters pertaining to your health and to be reasonably skeptical of corporate marketing disinformation designed to futher the status quo and maximize profits. Some women know this all too well, particularly in relation to toxic breast implants -marketed to vulnerable people for the purpose of maximizing corporate profits. And it is quite interesting that in reactions to this topic here and on Supertopo that it tends to be the males of the species that get pretty puffy and macho about perceived toxic threats and and want to blithely press forward in the fact of some pretty clear scientific realities.

There is a good write up in the Globe and Mail: try this link out :
The author, Martin Mittlestaedt makes the point that unlike the normal situation with regulated toxins where increased doses make for more misery, BPA behaves like hormones "where even vanishingly small exposures can be harmful".

It is clear that we have the technology to produce environmentally and human friendly water bottles. The fact that these containers even have any toxins at all should be a big clue that something stinks in the middle of the highway. It is a pattern all too often repeated and which many folks seem lulled in accepting as a given.

Mountain Equipment Co-op in Vanvouver has taken the initial position that they will not stop distributing the No.7 bottles until there is more evidence (bodies?). That too is a corporate response that put the onus on the consumer rather than the corporate sector to prove and ensure the products they are peddling to the masses are absolutely safe - no ifs, buts or maybes. We will be engaging MEC with some new tactics given their reluctance to act in the best interests of their members - and I have been a member for some 35 years. This will be a good issue to test the metal and quality of prospective new MEC corporate board members with the next election of same. General Electric in the US is getting rid of it's plastic subsidiary in the face of oncoming class action suits.
We assume they are astute business people - they know they were headed for a train wreck - others obvisouly, like some lemmings, want to experience the excitement of a freefall and a sudden stop at a bottom of a big cliff.

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