Cancer-Linked Contaminants in Bottled Water Says EWG

A report released by the Environmental Working Group this week provides yet another reason not to drink bottled water: disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue and pain medication. All these chemicals and more were found in multiple brands of bottled water EWG tested. More on the report below the fold.The cost of bottled water is about 1,900 times greater than tap water, a price tag many people are comfortable paying because they believe they are drinking something "pure." EWG's comprehensive report counters this assumption, with data indicating chemical contaminants in every brand of bottled water EWG tested.

WalMart's and Giant's store brand of bottled water contained a cocktail of chlorine and fluoride found in municipal water, making these brands identical to municipal water with the exception of their price tags. In California these brands exceeded legal contaminant limits and were also found chemically potent in stores in North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and DC.

Sam’s Choice samples EWG bought in the San Francisco contained disinfection byproducts which have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems. EWG announced it filed a suit to require Walmart post a warning sign on its bottles that the water contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, an act required under California law.

Other brands tested contained chemicals including fertilizer byproducts, chemical remnants of prescription meds, industrial chemicals, bacteria, arsenic, and even boron. The study also included assays for breast cancer cell proliferation, conducted at the University of Missouri. One bottled water brand spurred a 78% increase in the growth of the breast cancer cells compared to the control sample.

The bottled water industry, unlike municipal water sources, is not required to reveal the chemical components of its products. EWG hopes this report will educate consumers on the impurities of bottled water and the risks associated with drinking it. The group recommends consumers drink filtered tap water instead.

Head here to see more of the report, including recommendations on how you can start drinking safe water.

More on Bottled Water:

The Cost of Bottled Water
Bottled Water Market Stagnates
Kick the Plastic Bottle Habit