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Bottled water has been described as "one of the greatest cons of the
20th century" and as "marketing's answer to the emperor's new
While tap water contamination incidents must be reported
promptly to the public, the same is not true for bottled water, (see the list
of more than 100 bottled water recalls)
In 22 percent of brands tested, chemical
contaminants were found at levels
above state health limits. Some of
the contaminants found in the study could pose
health risks if consumed over a long period of time.
Another study found that a high percentage of bottled
water, contained in plastic containers, was
with estrogenic chemicals.
Bottled water versus tap water
In a study comparing 57 bottled water samples and tap
water samples, all of the tap water samples had a
3 CFUs/mL . There
15 water bottle samples containing 6-4900
In another study
comparing 25 different bottled waters, most of the samples
exceeded the contaminant level
set by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
thallium, and thorium. Being exposed to these contaminants in high
concentration for long periods of time can cause
liver and kidney damage, and increase risk for
Most bottled water manufacturers in the United States
their product or provide a fluoridated bottled water product. (Not required to
put on the label).
Natural Resources Defense Council,
Sierra Club, and
World Wildlife Fund argue that bottled water is
no better than tap water, and
emphasize the environmental effect of disposable plastic bottles.
Showtime series Penn & Teller:
Bullshit! Demonstrated that diners
could not discern between bottled water and water from a garden hose
behind the restaurant.
Bottled water Environmental Impacts
90 percent of the cost of bottled water is bottling,
packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing, expenses and profit.
The Environmental suffers from groundwater extraction,
energy used in plastic packaging, transportation costs, water quality, all resulting from
invalid marketing claims.
Packaging Bottled Water in
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), requires a significant amount of energy to
produce. In the US, plastic used to create bottles uses an estimated 15
million barrels of oil annually.