Most of us drink bottled water or tap water out of reused plastic bottles with the average Australian drinking 30 litres of bottled water a year.
Now scientists have had a good look at what’s really going into our bodies – and it’s not pleasant.
The levels of bacteria and toxins lurking inside those bottles can be shocking.
New research from American scientists has tested water bottles from athletes who refill each day.
The results revealed the bottles were crawling with bacteria including staphylococcus, streptococcus, e-coli, influenza.
There were more than 300,000 germs for every square centimetre inside the bottles – 100 times more than a pet toy.
Yet experts have revealed if the bacteria has derived from the same person who drinks from the bottle, the risk is low.
“The germs that are in bottled water – they’re germs that come from us,” University of NSW Professor Stuart Khan revealed.
“Even if you keep that bottle for a long period of time without washing it and it’s just you drinking out of it, it’s not going to cause any harm at all.”
Some plastics leach chemicals called phthalates which are linked to everything from breast cancer to birth defects.
Yet the myth that these can be detrimental to health after drinking from a bottle of water has also been debunked.
“The concentrations that we come across are well below concentrations that there’s any evidence at all are going to cause human illness,” Professor Khan said.
A safe level of antimony, a toxin used in plastic production, is 6ppb (concentration level).
Bottled water contains just 0.2ppb, and 0.22 after three months.
Scientists says it’s like arsenic. If you look hard enough, you’ll find traces of the chemical in spring water, however not enough to cause concern.
Edging towards a one billion dollar industry, Australia’s thirst for bottled water only grows.
But the big trend is towards cheap private labels from supermarkets.
That’s forcing the big name brands to respond and slowly bringing prices down.