What's the Story on Arsenic...and Bottled Water?
Many folks assume, often incorrectly, that bottled water is naturally more
pure than that from conventional tap sources; this is not always the case.
Research experts from independent studies and noted scientists report that
some bottled water teems with potentially unsafe arsenic levels.
James Dickerson, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Consumer
Reports, has noted: “It makes no sense that consumers can purchase bottled
water that is less safe than tap water.” And this issue gained greater
weight between late 2016 and early 2017 when Whole Foods’ water brand,
Starkey Water, recalled 2,000 cases of bottled water. Tests revealed an
unacceptable level of arsenic, which exceeded the federally mandated limit
of 10 parts per billion (ppb). The same company’s internal testing has since
shown that their results were just under the federal limit, but still close
enough to create health concerns if regularly consumed.
Why the Concern for Arsenic...and Its Effect on the Body?
It’s a naturally-occurring element found in rocks and soil which is also
used in the agriculture industry as a pesticide. Arsenic can end up in the
water supply when certain types of rocks and minerals erode over time or
from agricultural runoff. The element is tasteless and odorless, but it can
be highly toxic at certain levels, which is why the Environmental Protection
Agency set the standard for drinking water at 10 ppb or less. It’s not often
we have to measure anything by parts per billion, but to put it in
perspective, think of an average 16’x50’ swimming pool that holds 10,000
gallons of water: If one were to take an eye dropper and squeeze in 10 drops
of orange juice, that swimming pool now has 10 ppb of orange juice in it.
Scale that ratio down to the amount of water inside the bottle you just
picked up from the grocery store, and the amount of acceptable arsenic
inside is minuscule!
The EPA advises that non-cancer side effects of drinking water with
elevated levels of arsenic include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and
vomiting. Additional dire adverse maladies include blindness, partial
paralysis, skin discoloration, and numbness in the hands and feet.
Long-term, chronic exposure HAS been linked to cancers, adds the EPA. The
possible health risks of arsenic are precisely the reason drinking water,
such as bottled or municipal water, is required to be tested. It’s also the
reason why independent researchers are trying to get the federal limit for
arsenic in water to be lowered from 10 ppb to 3 ppb.
Bottled Water—What’s the Difference?
Grocery stores and other outlets offer an overwhelming variety of bottled
water options. Spring water, purified water, distilled water … what’s the
difference and how is it treated? Bottled water’s defining varieties are the
water sources and the type of filtration:
Spring water comes from a natural underground aquifer and endures a
filtration process to remove particles and unwanted contaminants; this is
likely a type of carbon filtration to improve taste and odor, as spring
water often contains natural minerals and contaminants.
Distilled or purified water usually comes from municipal tap water or
spring water, which goes through an additional purification process such as
deionization, distillation, or possibly reverse osmosis that can reduce
The problem? Consumers don’t always know how the water is treated because
of bottled water brands’ unclear labeling. While it may seem as though
everything sounds like it’s been purified properly, contaminants such as
arsenic may still exist. Consumer Reports’ table below shows five brands
that reported arsenic levels of at least 3 ppb, which is what Consumer
Reports and others are recommending for the new federal limit.
But There Must Be Alternatives to Bottled Water...?
Consumers are hard-pressed to know what’s pure and what is not. The good
news is that there are alternatives that are not only safer to consume but
come directly from the faucet in your home, where you can have a Reverse
Osmosis (R.O.) System Installed.
An R.O. system is the optimum way to get great-tasting, pure drinking water
for your home while drastically reducing the possibility of unwanted
R.O. systems have a special membrane that filters out many microscopic
organisms and heavy metals such as:
* cyst (cryptosporidium)
* nitrates and nitrites (hexavalent & trivalent)
* total dissolved solids (TDS)
Make Bottled Water A Thing of Your Household’s Past.
By switching to a safe alternative to bottled water, you reduce a lot of
waste that often ends up unrecycled and in landfills. Water bottles can be
expensive, and, over time, switching will likely pay for itself as you only
pay pennies per gallon when you filter the water yourself versus shelling
out for individual bottles.
As an Water-Right (Evolve) dealer, we are equipped to help you with your
problem water needs.
*Evolve® Products: https://www.problemwaterfixed.com/
Click the link above to visit our website of our trusted brands. For those
who have serious concerns about water quality or potential contamination,
you can use http://www.cleanwatertesting.com/ or contact us to have your water tested.
Thanks for checking in, and for taking the time to read. We’re happy to no
longer keep our information on this timely topic “bottled up” ...and we’re
ready to help you clear up any additional issues you might have on the topic
of bottled water!