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Greencastle native claims water bottle he created is healthier

November 08, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The bottle of water sitting on Brian Denton's desk looked like a monument to health and wellness.

Its white cap and rippled plastic carefully contained what appeared to be the epitome of pristine liquids.

"Yeah, this looks pure, but it is not. It's full of leeching chemicals," Denton said while grabbing the bottle. "That's just part of why I created Project Earth H20."

In a proactive step toward reducing the environmental and economical footprint of plastic bottles, Denton, a native of Greencastle, began Project Earth H20 with the hope of giving convenience-minded consumers an alternative to what he called "toxic" water bottles.

Denton created a U.S.-manufactured stainless steel water bottle that he said benefits the environment through a per-purchase donation to environmental organizations and through the lower number of "toxic" bottles produced and purchased.

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The prevailing appeal of bottled water is its convenience, so Denton has spent most of his money and time creating a product that will provide consumers similar convenience without environmental and physiological consequences.

Denton wasn't always an expert on the toxicity of plastic, passionately spouting lesser-known facts about bottled water production.

Like most Americans, Denton once drank the water conveniently packaged and sold by the millions to consumers in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.

"I thought all those bottles could not be good for the environment," he said. "I suspected they were also bad for us."

Denton's gut told him there had to be something consumers were not being told about the bottles they bought in good faith. So he began to read.

What Denton learned changed his life forever.

"Where to begin," he said. "Americans bought 9.5 billion gallons of bottled water in 2007, yet 40 percent of all bottled water is tap water. We pay more per gallon for bottled tap water than gasoline."

Denton said plastic water bottles not only harm the environment, they harm humans.

Once the seal on a single-use PET bottle of water is broken, the bottle begins to build bacteria, and if the bottle is exposed to heat, the contents can be come toxic, Denton said.

Reusable plastic bottles are perhaps are even more harmful.

Denton said most reusable plastic bottles leech a toxin known as bisphenol A (BPA). A harmful endocrine disrupter that has been linked to breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and testosterone depletion in men, bisphenol A leeches from polycarbonate plastic bottles such as those sold for camping and hiking, Denton said.

On its Web site, the Food and Drug Administration says FDA-regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials are below those that may cause health effects. 

Frustrated by the lack of what he felt were safe vessels for drinking water, Denton decided to create his own, and in 2007, he launched Project Earth H2O with five clear goals -- drive awareness, support American production, use his profits to make a positive impact, reduce the environmental impact of bottled water and give consumers an option that will not compromise their health.

Denton said driving awareness of growing fresh water scarcity, oil consumption and BPA toxicity is at the heart of his business.

"Bottled water has a profound negative impact on our environment, economy and health," he said. "It is through a collective of 'green-minded' individuals that we can make a difference."

Denton's company offers a 20-ounce stainless steel bottle, but he soon hopes to debut a "safe plastic" bottle made of polypropylene, free of leeching chemicals, made of significantly less natural resources and safely reusable for years, he said.

Denton's goal is to keep production of his plastic and stainless steel bottles 100 percent domestic, even if it does bump up his price point.

"These bottles will last forever if taken care of," he said. "But if consumers want to buy new ones, we are working on a recycling program that would come with a discount on new bottles."

While Project Earth H2O sells its stainless steel bottles individually through his Web site at www.projectearthh2o.com, the polypropylene bottles will sell in bulk and in stores, Denton said.

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