Bottled Water Con

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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 clothes".

Health effects 

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 polluted 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 bacterial content under 3 CFUs/mL .  There were 15 water bottle samples containing 6-4900 CFUs/mL.

 In another study comparing 25 different bottled waters, most of the samples exceeded the contaminant level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for mercury, 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 pancreatic and lung disease.

Most bottled water manufacturers in the United States either add fluoride to their product or provide a fluoridated bottled water product. (Not required to put on the label).

The 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.

The 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.