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Is Bottled Water a Safe Alternative?

Even in a country like the USA, water is considered a “food” and the quality standards for bottled water established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specify that bottled water need only be as safe as tap water. This means that even though consumers expect that it is much purer than tap water, there are no real regulations, nor guarantees, that this is so.

Contrary to the popular image of remote meadows and natural springs, some of the bottled water sources are located near heavily populated areas and industrial sites where water is more likely to be contaminated with toxic chemicals and other pollutants.

Some of the possible reasons for bottled water not being up to standard could be due to improper location and source of water supply, poor upkeep and maintenance of purification plant, failure to properly rinse bottles before filling or refilling, use of poor grade of plastic bottles where toxic chemicals could leach into the bottled water, rusty storage tanks, etc.

In a report prepared by the Assembly Office of Research for the California State Legislature, some of the problems of bottled water reported were bacteria in water, foul taste of gasoline and diesel fuel, high level of mercury, arsenic, chloroform, benzene, nitrates, phenol, trihalomethanes, and presence of algae, mold, dirt, insect larvae, mosquitoes, dead flies and other insects, chewing gum, and twigs.

It does not mean that all bottled water is bad; companies of repute do insure and provide good bottled water.

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