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Is Bottled Water Best?

By January 9, 2009 - 12:16am
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A recent study found that bottled water does not necessarily contain fewer contaminants than tap water, despite costing about 1,900 times more. What type of water do you drink? How can you tell is the best choice?

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This article by Anne Christiansen Bullers published in the the July-August 2002 edition of the FDA Consumer Magazine may be of interest to you:

Bottled Water: Better Than the Tap?

Whether bottled water is better than tap water, and justifies its expense, remains under debate. Stephen Kay, vice president of the IBWA [International Bottled Water Association], says member bottlers are selling the quality, consistency and safety that bottled water promises, and providing a service for those whose municipal systems do not provide good quality drinking water.

"Bottled water is produced and regulated exclusively for human consumption," Kay says. "Some people in their municipal markets have the luxury of good water. Others do not."

There are some parts of this world where you really should drink from the bottle, not the tap. There are even parts of this country where the same holds true.

Related link:

January 9, 2009 - 8:02pm

My kids and I drink filtered water at home. They take plastic water bottles to school because they've lost aluminum water bottles in the past, and it just gets too expensive. They like the taste of the "filtered" water bottles we get from the grocery store vs. the city water via the water fountains at school. I honestly think that unless you're literally dipping your face directly in a spring, you're going to have to deal with some kind of impurity or contaminant. There's no perfect answer here -- no easily accessible water is completely safe. But what is??

January 9, 2009 - 4:23pm

I've heard conflicting reports that the plastic from water bottles leaks carcinogens. Though the FDA refutes this, I continually hear that if you reuse water bottles that are meant to only be used once, it can be unhealthy.

Regardless, information changes and is updated all the time. Not long ago, cigarettes were harmless.

Anyway, to be safe I use a filter. It was about $30, lasts around three months, and the refill cartridges are less. Additionally, I try not to drink bottled water and fill my stainless steal water bottle with filtered water instead.

Ultimately, I spend less than buying bottled water and have a better chance of avoiding possible carcinogens. Additionally, I am saving the environment!

January 9, 2009 - 10:05am
HERWriter Guide

Good question!

We drink filtered water, because we have well-water and test it regularly. I don't think the well-water will kill us but we filter it just in case.

We also drink bottled water. I've seen studies that show some bottled water is tap water! If they don't have the words "spring water" on the label, they can just give the impression it is from a spring and it's legal. I've also seen several studies that do show bottled water is not necessarily better than water from the kitchen faucet.

Isn't it crazy that we went insane when gasoline was $4 a gallon when we pay up to $20 a gallon for fancy label (like Evian) water!!

January 9, 2009 - 9:57am
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