New Report: Bottled Water Contains Fertilizer Residue, Pain Medication, & Disinfection Byproducts.


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Still think buying bottled water is safer than tap water? A new study released yesterday by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) says that there is a surprising array of chemical contaminants in every bottled water brand they analyzed, including toxic byproducts of chlorination in Walmart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant Supermarket’s Acadia brands, at levels no different than routinely found in tap water. We filter all of our drinking water at home and carry it in reusable bottles, but many people still buy bottled water in plastic, thinking that it is safer than tap water. Turns out, it is far from safer:

Several Sam’s Choice samples purchased in California exceeded legal limits for bottled water contaminants in that state. Cancer-causing contaminants in bottled water purchased in 5 states (North Carolina, California, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland) and the District of Columbia substantially exceeded the voluntary standards established by the bottled water industry.

Unlike tap water, where consumers are provided with test results every year, the bottled water industry does not disclose the results of any contaminant testing that it conducts. Instead, the industry hides behind the claim that bottled water is held to the same safety standards as tap water. But with promotional campaigns saturated with images of mountain springs, and prices 1,900 times the price of tap water, consumers are clearly led to believe that they are buying a product that has been purified to a level beyond the water that comes out of the garden hose.

Dare to read the rest of the report? Go for it – but don’t say I didn’t warn you that your brand of bottled water might be more toxic than the virtually free stuff coming out of your tap.

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  1. we use a filter at home, but dang, how gross. I will think differently when I see my little nieces and nephews drinking bottled water now. poor babies.

  2. Just a comment on the study itself, I find it interesting that this study focused only on the Wal-mart of bottled water, a company with a long history of not taking care of it’s consumers, employees or the environment. Sam’s club water is municipal water, and since only one brand (Wal-Mart) was studied and it was a municipal source of course it’s going to have the same contaminants as municipal water.

    What would be really interesting would be a complete, independently funded (maybe EWG?) cross section of the 60% of bottled water companies with non-municipal sources vs the 40% of companies that use municipal sources and see how the numbers play out to. It would be more unbiased and also more conclusive than taking one study and saying “aha! Studies show!”

    It would probably cause a huge shift in consumer preferences – I bet a lot of people are just waiting for a study like this to make the final decision.

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