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APHA Annual Meeting attendees encouraged to drink tap water.

Plastic water bottles are a familiar accessory, but an APHA group is asking attendees at APHA's 137th Annual Meeting to think before using them at the Nov. 7-11 event in Philadelphia.

APHA's Food and Environment Working Group, a cross-Section group of Association members, is working to convince people to give up their plastic water bottles. The group's work ties in with this year's Annual Meeting theme of "Water and Public Health: The 21st Century Challenge."

"Bring a metal bottle to the Annual Meeting, and fill it up at water fountains in the convention center," said working group member Barbara Glenn, PhD.

Over the past decade, bottled water consumption in the United States has more than doubled, according to a report released in June by the Government Accountability Office. Bottled water's potential environmental impact is a concern, Glenn said, pointing to low recycling rates for plastic water bottles, the amount of energy used to manufacture and transport the bottles across the country and the impact of groundwater extraction on local resources. Critics of bottled water cite evidence that bottled water often lacks fluoride, and regulations overseeing bottled water are not as strict as those for tap water.

"People don't have access to information about what is in bottled water," Glenn said. "With municipal tap water, the information about testing is easily accessible."

In keeping with the meeting focus, APHA will be selling reusable stainless steel water bottles at the Everything APHA booth at the Annual Meeting.

For more information, e-mail rklein@jhsph.edu.
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Title Annotation:VITAL SIGNS: Perspectives of the president of APHA
Author:Johnson, Teddi Dineley
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Oct 1, 2009
Words:252
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