Bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication

Bottled water NOT within the safe range

The municipal water sources of the Walmart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant’s Acadia bottled waters were identified through contact with Walmart representatives, their bottled water manufacturer, and city/utility officials; or from the label (Giant). Data on the levels of disinfection byproducts (total trihalomethanes or TTHMs) in these municipal water sources were obtained from Notla Water Authority in Blairsville, Georgia; Las Vegas Valley Water District; and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. These data were from tap water tests carried out in 2007, which the water utilities disclosed to their customers in an annual report. For every utility the range of values from lowest to the highest represents the concentrations of TTHMs that were found in the tap water over the course of the year. Notla Water Authority provided a single value for TTHMs, not a range.

The rest ended up in landfills, incinerators, and as trash on land and in streams, rivers, and oceans.

This study did not focus on the environmental impacts of bottled water, but they are striking and have been well publicized. Of the 36 billion bottles sold in 2006, only a fifth were recycled (Doss 2008). The rest ended up in landfills, incinerators, and as trash on land and in streams, rivers, and oceans. Water bottle production in the U.S. uses 1.5 million barrels of oil per every year, according to a U.S. Conference of Mayors’ resolution passed in 2007, enough energy to power 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars for a year (US Mayors 2007). As oil prices are continuing to skyrocket, the direct and indirect costs of making and shipping and landfilling the water bottles continue to rise as well (Gashler 2008, Hauter 2008).

Extracting water for bottling places a strain on rivers, streams, and community drinking water supplies as well. When the water is not bottled from a municipal supply, companies instead draw it from groundwater supplies, rivers, springs or streams. This “water mining,” as it is called, can remove substantial amounts of water that otherwise would have contributed to community water supplies or to the natural flow of streams and rivers (Boldt-Van Rooy 2003, Hyndman 2007, ECONorthwest, 2007).

Recommendations

Currently there is a double standard where tap water suppliers provide information to consumers on contaminants, filtration techniques, and source water; bottled water companies do not. This double standard must be eliminated immediately; Bottled water should conform to the same right-to-know standards as tap water.

To bring bottled water up to the standards of tap water we recommend:

  • Full disclosure of all test results for all contaminants. This must be done in a way that is readily available to the public.
  • Disclosure of all treatment techniques used to purify the water, and:
  • Clear and specific disclosure of the name and location of the source water.

To ensure that public health and the environment are protected, we recommend:

  • Federal, state, and local policymakers must strengthen protections for rivers, streams, and groundwater that serve as America’s drinking water sources. Even though it is not necessarily any healthier, some Americans turn to bottled water in part because they distrust the quality of their tap water. And sometimes this is for good reason. Some drinking water (tap and bottled) is grossly polluted at its source – in rivers, streams, and underground aquifers fouled by decades of wastes that generations of political and business leaders have dismissed, ignored, and left for others to solve. A 2005 EWG study found nearly 300 contaminants in drinking water all across the country. Source water protection programs must be improved, implemented, and enforced nationwide (EWG 2005b). The environmental impacts associated with bottled water production and distribution aggravate the nation’s water quality problems rather than contributing to their solution.
  • Consumers should drink filtered tap water instead of bottled water. Americans pay an average of two-tenths of a cent per gallon to drink water from the tap. A carbon filter at the tap or in a pitcher costs a manageable $0.31 per gallon (12 times lower than the typical cost of bottled water), and removes many of the contaminants found in public tap water supplies.2 A whole-house carbon filter strips out chemicals not only from drinking water, but also from water used in the shower, clothes washer and dishwasher where they can volatilize into the air for families to breathe in. For an average four-person household, the cost for this system is about $0.25 per person per day.3 A single gallon of bottled water costs 15 times this amount.

EWG’s study has revealed that bottled water can contain complex mixtures of industrial chemicals never tested for safety, and may be no cleaner than tap water. Given some bottled water company’s failure to adhere to the industry’s own purity standards, Americans cannot take the quality of bottled water for granted. Indeed, test results like those presented in this study may give many Americans reason enough to reconsider their habit of purchasing bottled water and turn back to the tap.

Ensure safe drinking water for you and your family

We eliminate ALL water-borne pathogens from your drinking water. Try some today and enjoy safe drinking water.

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About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

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