Bottled Water Wars
Bottled Water Facts
We fly in in from areas as diverse as Fiji and France. Some of us drink it morning, noon and night, never leaving home without it.
It's bottled water, and horror stories about the environmental effects of the corporate push for profits from a product we get for free, or as part of our municipal tax package, continue unablated.
At issue is the fact that so many people drink it, spending 240-10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they do for tap water.
The Food and Drug Administration holds the responsibility for regulating the contents of bottled water. You might ask why the contents of bottled water needs to be regulated. The answer is quite simple. Water can, and does contain many chemicals, some potentially dangerous.
Consider one of the more recent FDA rules regarding bottled water regulation. The FDA states, "The allowable level established by FDA for uranium in bottled water is 30 micrograms per liter of water. (21 CFR 165.110(b)(5)(i)(D))."
Most people are probably unaware of the fact that any radioactive materials, however small the amount, are allowed to be included in a bottle of water.
What other contaminants might be found in bottled water? An FDA April 2011 recall of Mountain Pure bottled drinking water was instigated due to the presence of biological contamination.
Notwithstanding the fact that the water was intended to be used during instances of natural disasters, the brand name of the water suggests an irony associated with marketing water for profit.
Of 103 brands of bottled water sent to be tested at certified water-testing laboratories, one quarter of the samples contained chemical or microbiologic contaminants, including toluene, phthalates, and nitrates.
Other statistically significant contaminants include arsenic, and samples from around the country contained coliform bacteria.
One brand advertised as pure glacier water came from a public water supply, and another touted as spring water was pumped from a parking lot next to a hazardous waste site.
In addition, phthalates from plastic water bottles can leach into the water when exposed to high temperatures and sunlight.
© 2011. Patricia A. Michaels