How is bottled water safe? Do we need to worry about it? What is better: tap water or bottled water? Bottled water gained popularity when some celebrities endorsed it. Before them, Nestle introduced a single-use PET bottle that attracted customers. Americans spent $31 billion last year on bottled water.
Why do people prefer bottled water over tap water?
One of the biggest reasons is water safety. Many people think municipal water could be contaminated with chemicals, especially chlorine, lead, or arsenic. Besides, the bottled water industry ignited fears pointing out that tap water is suitable for irrigation and cooking.
Avoidance of sugary drinks
Another reason to choose bottled water is the willingness to avoid sugary drinks.
Yes, people in this way are right because sugar consumption leads to chronic diseases.
The usage of sugar creates plenty of problems besides diabetes and obesity. It removes vital nutrients and creates an addiction to consuming more sweets.
Commercials and online influence
The third reason is the constant commercial that points out about benefits and convenience of drinking bottled water.
The reality check-up
Consumer Reports found out that they always do, and facts regarding bottled water safety tell a different story.
IBWA, or the so-called International Bottled Water Association, turns facts upside down when asked about test results.
For example, in 1999, the IBWA website posted a question:” Does bottled water contain any harmful chemicals that can threaten human health?”
Overall, it would be strange that they would answer yes. However, according to Consumer Reports,
federal records show that in 1990 there were around 50 recalls of bottled water for excessive chlorine, mold, and fecal coliforms.
What do you think about how IBWA answered that?
They pointed out that it meant “general nature,” and there was no risk to human health.
Overall, I think that they have a strange sense of humor. Why? Fecal coliforms show that something is fishy with the treatment of water.
Wikipedia explains it perfectly:
In general, increased levels of fecal coliforms provide a warning of failure in water treatment, a break in the integrity of the distribution system, pand ossible contamination with pathogens. There may be an elevated risk of waterborne gastroenteritis when classes are high. Tests for the bacteria are cheap, reliable, and rapid (1-day incubation).
Independent tests showed in 1999 that 1 in 4 of more than one hundred brands violated California limits for arsenic or other carcinogens. You do not need to be a scientist to know about the harm of arsenic.
How is bottled water safe? This stuff, I mean arsenic, this stuff is found naturally in Earth’s crust, water, air, and animals. However, inorganic arsenic can be dangerous because of how it is produced. Industries use arsenic for various purposes, such as smelters, herbicides, or pesticides.
Is a plastic bottle safe?
Nah, especially if these plastic bottles are kept in hot areas such as the sun. Studies show that antimony trioxide, a carcinogen, may be released into the water if bottles are kept too long, such as five days. Federal limits are 167 degrees after five days, but it happens after a few hours in some cases.
Think about plastic bottles left in the car on a hot summer day. I saw some people put these bottles back into the cooler and reuse them again. No wonder why various environmental illnesses surround us.
Consumer Reports have a story about the study made in 2019. It shows that microscopic pieces of plastic could leach toxins into the water. People, who drank only bottled water, consumed 90,000 microplastics annually. Individuals who guzzled only tap water got only 4,000.
What is horrible about these tiny plastic pieces is that they help create reproductive problems, obesity, and other nasty things.
How does tap water become bottled water?
A few years ago, I heard a saying that bottled water is the same as water from the tap. Previously I sneered at the tap water because of a lack of knowledge. I was happy with San Pellegrino, which comes in glass bottles.
Thankfully, my wallet and my body got better alternatives because of learning about the benefits of minerals.
I will talk about it later, but for now, let’s check how tap water becomes suitable for famous brands.
I never was crazy about Coca-Cola, except for the company’s commercials at Christmas time and the beautiful design of bottles, or about Nestle, which strips communities and lakes taking water for their own needs.
However, when I read in Consumer Reports article about the usage of tap water by these famous brands, I was confused. Is it a crime or just fooling consumers by giving tap water names such as Dasani, Aquafina, Poland Spring, or Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water?
Yes, you understand, right.
Companies use water from the tap, create a brand name, and make a nice profit. Besides, companies such as Nestle drain out lakes and local people’s resources.
How about tests of bottled water?
According to Consumer Reports, “Government regulators generally don’t test bottled water themselves, and bottled water makers aren’t required to publish their results.”
Besides, companies are not responsible for making the results of tests available to the public.
What does it mean?
It means that there is no consumer protection at this point. You depend on the generosity and sanity of manufacturers who can be honest or think about profits. You heard plenty of stories about people being left behind when something serious and profound happens. The city of Flint is one of having this reputation.
Of course, I doubt if tap water from Flint could go into bottled water because of the color. However, plenty of toxins do not appear visible to the human eye.
Funny story about Fuji water
It is up to you to decide how much fun is here, especially if you would be a customer who uses this particular Fiji bottled water.
In 2006, Fiji had an ad that stated that water is good in bottles because of the different origin, not taken from the tap in Cleveland.
Officials in Cleveland did not get excited over this statement and checked their tap water and water in Fiji bottles.
What do you think they found?
Cleveland’s municipal water was good. Fiji bottled water had arsenic in it. How about that?
Here is a peak of Fiji’s reaction to the findings. The company told us that it was only a joke. Uh!
Let’s see how tap water can serve us
The majority of the USA has access to safe tap water, except there are real problems in some communities. The lack of investment in water systems leads to disasters such as Flint or Hudson, Mass.
It is good news for tap water users that systems that provide water to 90 percent of USA consumers are safe. Only less than ten percent had at least one health-based quality violation.
You can learn about your tap water safety by receiving annual water quality called the Consumer Confidence Report. If you do not get one, you need to contact the local water supplier. People who rent can ask for reports from their landlords.
It is advisable to test the water using test kits because of the lead danger. Why? Municipalities can provide excellent water to you, but lead can reach your water from pipes that go into your house.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends using a certified lab. Sometimes communities can provide test kits free of charge.
Filtering tap water prevents you from headaches and possible problems coming with contamination from bottled water or the tap, mainly if you do not test it.
Filters are various depending on the quality and price.
According to Consumer Reports, osmosis filters are the most reliable. They can remove arsenic, lead, bacteria, chlorine, and other chemicals.
It is essential to know and ensure that filters are certified to NSF International standards by an independent lab.
What does it mean?
It means that these labs are not associated with manufacturers and do not have influence from them.
What do I use?
Osmosis filters are too expensive for me, and they require a lot of space. I choose the Pure Earth Technologies Inc. filtration system. You can select various cartridges for your needs. The quality is excellent, and the price is affordable.
If you would read more about water filtration and its devices, please check this link.
Water is the main staple for humans. However, we need to be conscious of its quality of it. As you see, there are no strict requirements from regulation agencies about testing. Bottled water seems convenient, especially when you see celebrities doing that. The majority of bottled water sold today appears to be safe. However, you are the most important person who must have responsibility for your health.
It is an adage about first taking care of yourself, and then, later on, others will help you too.
Having filters at your home or the renting place will save you from the problems of being sick and, at the same time, will save you money when you refill your glass bottle without the need to go to the store.
I add some magnesium ReMag and some Himalayan salt. It is a perfect drink that gives benefits not just for the body but for the mind too. Would you like to read about the best magnesium supplement? Check this link here.
If you have questions or remarks, please leave a comment.