Bottled Water: Not Always Healthier Than Tap Water
While bottled water may sometimes taste better than tap water, better taste does not always mean you are drinking a healthier product. Many people believe that drinking bottled water is a healthier and less risky alternative to drinking tap water. This is not always the true. Multiple studies have shown that in many cases your local tap water is just as safe (and sometimes safer) as the bottled water that Americans spend billions of dollars on each year. One recent study found disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication in bottled water (Naidenko & Leiba 2008). According to a study by the Environmental Working Group of the 10 most popular bottled water brands, they found 38 chemical pollutants with an average of eight contaminants in each brand tested (Naidenko & Leiba 2008).
Bottled water federal regulation falls under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while tap water is regulated by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA standards of tap water are much stricter than the FDA standards of bottled water. The EPA requires municipal water systems to perform several tests a day for harmful microbiological contents and pollutants (Naidenko & Leiba 2008). They also require that the water source and test results be shared with the public (Naidenko & Leiba 2008). FDA standards of bottled water only require tests for microbes once a week and there are no FDA requirements of bottled water manufacturers to share their water sources or test results with the public (Peterson J. 2012). As a matter of fact, some bottled water manufacturers have refused to reveal their water sources (Naidenko & Leiba 2008). The FDA does perform periodic inspections of the bottled water treatment plants but not nearly as often as the EPA inspects the municipal water systems (Naidenko & Leiba 2008). Because of the higher standards the EPA has imposed on tap water compared to the... [continues]
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