Over the years, we avoided using tap water because we believe that bottled water is safer to drink and better for our health. However, a recent study suggests that commercialized bottled water may offer more harm than good. Finding shows that plastic containers used for bottled water, contains EDC or endocrine-disrupting chemical that may affect the hormonal systems, particularly the reproductive systems of the body.
According to a study conducted in 2010, adults who were exposed to EDC before they were born are more at risk of breast cancer than those who were not. EDCs or endocrine disruptors are compounds that can alter the normal process happening in the endocrine system which may cause cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental problems. EDCs are commonly used to make plastics used for storing food and water. One example is the Bisphenol A or (BPA) which is an EDC that is used to create feeding bottles for babies.
The previous study results have been reviewed by the researchers who recently made a new study to test if the EDCs present on commercialized bottled water has the possibility to become diffuse gradually. Similarly, they would like to check the type of EDCs, which can potentially mix with the water.
During the research, 18 commercialized bottled water were used for the testing. The researchers aim to detect if there are compounds present on the water which may interfere with the hormonal system of the body. It may lead to the blocking of estrogen activity (Antiestrogenic) or prevent androgens from expressing their biological effects on responsive tissues (antiandrogenic).
The result showed that among the 18 bottles of water, 13 bottles were found to cause antiestrogenic activity and 16 of the bottles demonstrated antiandrogenic activity. Another research was also conducted to see the compound present in the water called DEHF or (di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate) . However, the said compound is only responsible for the antiandrogenic activity and the compound that produces antiestrogenic activity is yet to be found.
According to the authors of the study, another research needs to take place to discover the other EDC that causes antiestrogenic activity. They said,”We have shown that antiestrogens and antiandrogens are present in the majority of bottled water products. To identify the causative chemical, we applied a novel correlation approach to integrate biological and high-resolution mass spectrometry data. Structural elucidation led to dioctyl maleate/fumarate isomers as promising candidates.”
“While chemical analysis confirmed that DEHF is the putative steroid receptor antagonist, this compound was weakly antiestrogenic in the bioassays, only,”
“We conclude that we have either missed active compound(s) or that another, untested maleate/fumarate isomer causes the antagonistic activity in bottled water.” they added.
The researchers stated that they may be another active compound in the water that may cause the antagonistuc activity in the bottled water. In addition to this, there are isomers other than DEHF that were also antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic. “Moreover, maleates are structurally highly similar to phthalate plasticizers, well-known antiandrogens,”
“Therefore, we pose the hypothesis that dialkyl maleates and fumarates might represent a novel group of steroid receptor antagonists. This illustrates that in spite of the potentially relevant exposure and obvious resemblance to other EDCs, such chemicals have been so far disregarded by the scientific and regulatory community.” they explained
Although the research has shown significant results, more studies need to be done to strengthen the evidence which suggests that DEHF can make people at risk of other diseases. Likewise, more research must take place to determine if manufacturers need to stop using DEHF to make plastic wares and containers to ensure the safety of their consumers. Nevertheless, the researchers are hoping that the results could increase the people’s awareness of the potential danger caused by th EDCs in food and beverages.