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Is Bottled Water the Right Choice?
Bottled water has become a multi-billion-dollar business. It's now the fastest growing segment of the entire beverage industry and the most profitable of all beverages.
It is also one of the biggest polluting
industries in the U.S. Over 60,000,000 plastic
bottles are produced, transported and disposed
of EVERY DAY in the U.S. alone! San Francisco,
Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, and many more
have recently jumped on the "ban bottled water"
wagon making it illegal to spend city dollars on
bottled water due to its very harmful
environmental impact. Chicago has recently
implemented a 5 cent per bottle tax to
discourage use by consumers.
THERE ARE NO GOVERNMENT STANDARDS THAT REQUIRE BOTTLED WATER TO BE ANY BETTER, PURER OR SAFER THAN TAP WATER.
Consider the following from a July 2009 Reuters news article:
"Of particular note, FDA does not have the specific statutory authority to require bottlers to use certified laboratories for water quality tests or to report test results, even if violations of the standards are found," the GAO [General Accountability Office] report reads.
Siobhan DeLancey, a spokeswoman for the F.D.A., said in an interview: "We can do it [regulate bottled water]. However, we have a very large regulatory portfolio. It's been well acknowledged in recent years that we struggle with the whole staff and funding aspect of it." (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/us/politics/09bottle.html)
Most bottled water is bottled and sold within the same state to avoid federal regulations. There are no assurances or government requirements that bottled water be of any higher quality than tap water.
In March of 1999, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report called "Bottled Water, Pure Drink or Pure Hype?" This report points out that that 60% to 70% of all bottled water is completely exempt from the FDA's bottled water standards, because it is bottled and sold within the same state. Unless the water is transported across state lines, there are no federal regulations that govern its quality!
Here are some quotes from the NRDC report:
The Natural Resources Defense Council report concluded that, "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 reality of bottled water is that you pay from $1 to $4 a gallon for the perception of higher quality, when in fact the quality of bottled water is at best an unknown. Quality home water treatment is by far the most economical, the most convenient and the best way to produce truly healthy, great-tasting water. It is also the right choice environmentally!
Rated BEST BUY 6 years in a row by Consumers Digest!