The Facts on Bottled Water
“Companies that promote bottled water as being safer than tap water are defrauding the American public.” Statement made by FDA
Americans buy over half a billion bottles of water every week. The truth is there are virtually no real benefits to consuming bottled water. Most bottled water is little more than over-priced tap water in a bottle that contributes to over 1.5 million tons of plastic waste in our landfills every year.
What’s in the Bottle?
The FDA regulations that govern the quality of bottled water only apply if it is transported across state lines and only require it to be “as good as” tap water, not better. 60-70% of bottled water companies bottle and sell the water in the same state to avoid Federal purity standards, thus avoiding complying with basic health standards, such as those that apply to municipally treated tap water. There are no assurances or requirements that bottled water be safer or better than tap water.
In addition, plastic water bottles can contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). This toxic substance has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and shown to cause a resistance to insulin, making it life threatening for some, even in low doses.
The U.S. FDA says: “Companies that promote bottled water as being safer than tap water are defrauding the American public.”
The Environmental Hazards of Bottled Water
In addition to the 30 billion plastic bottles being disposed of in U.S. landfills every year, bottled water negatively impacts our environment in many other ways. Over 20 billion barrels of oil are used each year to produce the 50 billion plastic bottles, producing some 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution. It takes three times the amount of water to produce the bottle as it does to fill it. Once these bottles hit the landfill, it can take up to 700 years for a plastic bottle to decompose.
Adding in transportation, the annual energy resources used on bottled water production and distribution comes to over 50 million barrels of oil, the equivalent to run three million cars for a year.
Go Green. Go Healthy. Save Money!
Switching from bottled water to home water filtration is one of the fastest, easiest and most impactful steps to live healthy, save money and protect the planet. Home water purification is by far the most economical, most convenient and most effective way of producing high quality, healthy water.
The facts are clear:
- Home water filtration offers better quality water than bottled water
- Home water filtration is 1/10th the cost of bottled.
- Home water filtration is far more convenient, offering “Pure water on tap.”
- Home water filtration is virtually pollution free.
Filtering out the chlorine, lead and other contaminants with a quality home water filtration system, at the point of use, just prior to consumption, is the best way to know for sure about the quality of your drinking water. It’s also the most economical and the most environmentally responsible. It’s the right choice.
Bottled Water versus Tap Water
All public water systems in the United States are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for bacteria and toxic chemicals. All city tap water must be filtered and disinfected. In contrast, there are no federal filtration or disinfection requirements for bottled water.
In March of 1999, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report called “Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?” This report presented the following points:
- City tap water can have no confirmed E.Coli or fecal coliform bacteria. FDA bottled water rules include no such prohibition (a certain amount of any type of coliform bacteria is allowed in bottled water).
- Most cities using surface water have had to test for Cryptosporidium or Giardia, two common water pathogens, that can cause diarrhea and other intestinal problems, yet bottled water companies have no such test.
- City tap water must meet standards for certain important toxic or cancer-causing chemicals, such as phthalate (a chemical that can leach from plastic, including plastic bottles); some in the industry persuaded FDA to exempt bottled water from the regulations regarding these chemicals.
- City water systems must issue annual “right to know” reports, telling consumers what is in their water. Bottlers successfully killed a “right to know” requirement for bottled water.
“Therefore, while much tap water is indeed risky, having compared available data, we conclude that there is no assurance that bottled water is any safer than tap water.” — The Natural Resources Defense Council