A newly released study by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found some bottled waters are “no different than that of tap water.”
Pain medication, fertilizer residue and other various chemicals were found in some major brands of bottled water.
While many brands of bottled water may be pure as the label promises, the true problem is being able to tell the good from the bad. The federal government regulates public water supplies, but that is not the case for bottled water.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does have some supervision on the matter, but bottled water is not high on their list of priorities.
Bottled water containing cancer-causing contaminants were purchased in five states – California, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia - all of which were found to substantially exceed the voluntary standards established by the bottled water industry.
Each year consumers receive annual test results regarding tap water, but the bottled water industry does not reveal the results of any contaminant findings. Rather, the industry hides behind claims that bottled water is held to the same safety standards as that of tap water.
The bottled water industry promotes an image of purity using promotional campaigns heavily saturated with images of mountain springs which leads consumers to believe they are buying a product that is purified beyond the water that comes out of their kitchen faucet.
Given the industry’s refusal to make available data to support their claims of superiority, consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is not justified, says the EWG in their report.
Tests conducted by EWG found 10 popular brands of bottled water contained 38 chemical pollutants, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand. More than one-third of the chemicals found are not regulated in bottled water.
California is currently the only state to enact strict standards to ensure carcinogens and other contaminants are not being sold as something purer than mountain stream pictured on the water bottle labels.
The EWG has tips for staying hydrated while minimizing your exposures to common drinking water pollutants:
Opt for tap over bottled water. While you can read the bottle label, you still won’t know if the water is pure and natural or processed polluted, packaged tap water.
Learn what’s in your tap water. Tap water suppliers are required to publish their water quality tests, but bottled water companies are not. You can look up your city’s water in EWG’s National Tap Water Atlas.
Drink and cook with filtered water. Carbon filters are affordable and reduce many common water contaminants, such as lead and byproducts of the disinfection process used to treat tap water.
Change filters regularly, old filters aren’t safe and harbor bacteria and let contaminants slip by.
While on the go carry water in a safe container. Hard plastic bottles (#7) can leach harmful plastics chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) into water. Use a stainless steel container or other BPA-free bottle.
For pregnant women and infants, follow the instructions above and any advice given by your medical doctor. For more information, refer to the EWG website. #