Pune: With the drive against plastic items, copper water bottles have gained newfound popularity.
However, coppersmiths from Tambat Ali (a locality of coppersmiths in Pune) and ayurvedic doctors have cautioned people that the health benefits of water stored in copper bottles would persist only as long as the bottle has been cleaned thoroughly from inside.
While vessels made of copper were in regular use in households around 50 years ago, plastic and steel have replaced the metal in the last two decades.
However, as people become more aware of the health benefits of copper, water bottles made of copper have been in great demand in markets.
From offices to colleges, to simply storing water in homes, copper bottles can be seen everywhere.
“It is the unique property of copper to absorb heat. Hence, drinking water is stored in copper water bottles as it absorbes heat. Also, storing water in metal bottles helps give essential minerals to our body,” said Manoj Potfode, a coppersmith from Tambat Ali.
Potfode, however, added, “Copper bottles must be cleaned properly and regularly from inside to avail their full benefits. And bottles made of any material are usually difficult to wash from inside. What happens with copper is that any dirt present on the wall of the bottle from inside might react with the metal resulting in oxidisation or might turn the metal blackish from inside. Drinking water from such bottles is no longer healthy.”
Similarly, Dr Ankur Deshpande, an ayurvedic doctor, said that if people are using copper water bottles, then it is extremely necessary that they clean them every day.
“The trend of using copper vessels for food and water, which was earlier a part of the Indian culture, has now resurfaced in India from Germany and other European countries in recent times. You need to clean copper daily in order to keep it clean and pure. Since bottles have narrow mouths, they are very tedious to clean,” Deshpande said.
“If not cleaned properly, it’s possible that the bottle develops rust on the inner side. Drinking water from rust is certainly unhealthy. So when you use copper, make sure you check once after washing it whether it has been cleaned or not,” he added.
Problems of duplicity
Many coppersmiths in Tambat Ali have now stopped making copper bottles.
“Nowadays, only a few of us make bottles as we ourselves tell people that these are difficult to clean. However, there are bottles that come from Rajasthan that are not made of pure copper but only have copper plating done on iron bottles. These bottles are very cheap as compared to those made of pure copper because of which people tend to buy those. But they don’t have the health benefits a pure copper bottle can offer,” added another coppersmith Pandu Potfode.
Use only 100 pc copper bottles
Dr Deshpande said, “Nowadays, cheaper copper bottles are available at malls and other shops these days. However, buyers need to check whether the bottle is made of 100 per cent copper or not before buying. A pure copper bottle will always be on the more expensive side. This market is rapidly growing, hence, people need to keep an eye open for the duplicates while buying.”