You Should Know

January 2009 Issue

New Study Finds Fault With Some Bottled Waters; Tap Water a Better Bet

"Tap or bottled?" just might be the new environmental phrase to take over from "paper or plastic?" And just as the paper-or-plastic debate has its arguments on both sides, so too does the tap water versus bottled water dispute. But more and more, it seems tap water is gaining the upper hand. The bottled water industry has taken a few hits of late for the huge landfill problem plastic bottles generate, while tap water gets rave reviews for how well it stacks up to bottled water, both in safety and taste. Now, a new report throws more cold water on the notion that bottled is safer. And none too soon, since Americans drink twice as much bottled water today as they did 10 years ago, guzzling a grand total of nine billion gallons a year. Bottled Waters a Bust in Test. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit public health advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., commissioned the latest study that tested 10 brands of bottled water. The disturbing results? EWG found an alarming 38 pollutants in total, which ran the chemical gamut from disinfection byproducts, arsenic, fertilizer residue, plasticizers and pharmaceuticals.

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