MYTHBUSTING: Is bottled water safer than tap water?
The short answer to this question is NO.
One of the many myths that the bottled water industry has spent lots of money perpetrating is that bottled water is safer that tap water.
We checked out what some actual experts had to say on the matter:
Food and water watch says, “Despite the marketing, bottled water is not safer than tap water. Tap water is subject to more stringent regulation that bottled water. Tap water is regulated by the EPA, while bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Perpetually under-funded and short-staffed, FDA has a poor record of protecting consumer health and safety. FDA sends inspectors to bottling plants once every two to three years.
Independent testing of bottled water conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2008 found that 10 popular brands of bottled water… contained 38 chemical pollutants, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand.”
National Geographic says, “Bottled water isn’t always as safe as tap water. The NRDC conducted a four-year study of the bottled water industry and concluded that while most bottled water is safe to drink, there are areas of concern. Roughly 22% of the water tested contained contaminant levels that exceeded strict state health limits. One study found that hormone-disrupting phthalates had leached into bottled water that had been stored for 10 weeks.”
The Worldwatch Institution says, “In industrial countries with highly regulated water supplies, tap water has been proven to be just as safe, or safer, than its commercial counterpart. In the U.S, regulations concerning bottled water are generally the same as for tap water, but are weaker for some microbial contaminants. The U.S. FDA, which regulates bottled water at the federal level, permits the product to contain certain levels of fecal matter, whereas the Environmental Protection Agency does not allow any human waste in city tap water. Bottled water violations are not always reported to the public, and in most cases the products may be recalled up to 15 months after the problematic water was produced, distributed, and sold.