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Is Bottled Water Better for You Than Tap?

I just read some alarming news on, well alarming to me at least. Did you know that 25% of all bottled water is actually just repackaged tap water? I definitely did not know that.

Nor did I know this: Because bottled water is considered a food, it is regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Tap water is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, both types of water are subject to testing for contaminates. Furthermore, since 60 to 70 percent of all bottled water in the U.S. is packaged and sold within the same state, it is exempted from the FDA regulation. And 1 in 5 states do not regulate that bottled water. Basically, it's a crapshoot.

22 percent of all the bottled water tested was found to have man-made chemicals, bacteria and arsenic. It doesn't end there, tap water in the 19 U.S. cities tested was found to contain arsenic, lead, and pesticides. Boy let me tell you, nothing says refreshing like arsenic. Luckily for us, most healthy adults' systems can handle the contaminants but this is not always the case for those with weakened immune systems (like children and cancer patients).

So what's the moral of the story? Bottled water is not necessarily better. To get the most out of your water, buy bottled water treated with reverse osmosis and/or drink distilled water or city tap water with a filtering system certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.

Blondi3 Blondi3 10 years
Clam, in response to your post, it isn't true that plastic water bottles break down into carcinogenic compounds when reused. Check out this link, it explains everything. As for drinking bottled water, I live in Washington D.C., and the water here leaves MUCH to be desired. I drink Aquafina water because I like the taste. I already knew that it came from a public water supply, but it goes through a 7 step purification process. That sure beats the water from my sink!!
bugness bugness 10 years
This is one of the few reasons I'm proud to live in Memphis. We have some of the best tap water in the country, and a lot of water is bottled from our tap. I can't tell the difference between Dasani and my sink. I did want to mention something though that I just read in an email from a friend. Certain plastics are causing cancer when frozen or microwaved. They say not to put water bottles in the freezer. It might not be true, but I don't take my chances. -Bug
chatoyante chatoyante 10 years
oh also--you can frequently tell if the bottled water you're buying is tap water, look for phrases like "water from a municipal source" or similar on the label. It'll be in tiny print ;)
chatoyante chatoyante 10 years
theclam--It still seems like people think both things...last I heard, it was thought not to be a problem, but some health-foody sources still express concern. I think Nalgenes are still better than reusing the disposable ones, if only for the fact that they're easier to clean. I'm not a huge fan of water taste, either, but I like to put a few drops of orange flower water or rosewater (the kind you can cook with--not essential oils!) in my Nalgene and it makes the smell and taste quite lovely.
the-clam the-clam 10 years
There were reports a few years ago about carcinogens coming from reusable plastic and polycarbonate bottles, like nalgene. Any further studies on that? It's hard to make good choices when the information keeps changing.
katie225 katie225 10 years
the condo where i live has a reverse osmosis water filter, which is AMAZING. thanks so much to my landlord for that!
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
I drink bottled water at home (hubby takes up all the fridge space with his soda and ice tea so I can't stuff a Brita in there), but at work I refill a big bottle with the filtered water in the kitchen. Boo water that's bad for weak immune systems. I had no idea.
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Well, Singapore has NeWater, which uses reverse osmosis on sea water, and to learn about it is actually required national education, because of the lack of natural water resources here. However, it tastes strange and it gives me a little bit of discomfort in the stomach and throat.
sashak sashak 10 years
I think bottled water is a scam any way. I just fill up my Nalgene w/ the water cooler water at work or the water from the fridge dispenser at home
jessiedallas jessiedallas 10 years
oh duh people already pointed that out. oops :)
jessiedallas jessiedallas 10 years
plus bottled water does not contain flouride, like tap water does, which is really good for your teeth and children really need. this isn't the original article i read on it and there are tons of others, but its really good info.
xxbrittney xxbrittney 10 years
you might think that your tap water is good, but you never know what kind of chemicals are leaking into it unless you have it tested by a water specialist. Also there's a way to save money if you buy a reverse osmosis system for your house and fill up water bottles with that and refridgerate them. That's what my roommate does at home and she's always hydrated and her water is safe.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I knew about the water thing. I just use my Brita there is nothing wrong with the tap water in my area. The bottles are the biggest waste.
SU3 SU3 10 years
Interesting... did NOT know that they were regulated by two different agencies.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
i'm prob going to get a brita filter anyway because all these bottles (even though we recycle) seem like such a waste!
cams cams 10 years
thats what I was going to say, Cravin, make sure that whatever bottled water you're drinking is fluoridated!! Especially if kids are going to be drinking it.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Oh and speaking of water Fit, my grovery store sells that Metromint water and I bought one of each...spearaminmt and peppermint. I am drinking the spearamint is rockin! ________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Did ya'll know cavities are on the rise because people aren't getting the natural flouride from their tap water? _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
I need to drink more water....I just don't like the taste.
kayli kayli 10 years
That's why I love my brita and only distilled water and not spring water. Just becausee it comes from a spring doesn't mean it's clean.
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