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Toxic Chemicals in Wal Mart’s Bottled Water

bottled water and toxic chemicalsMyth: Drinking bottled water is safer than drinking tap water.

Truth: You are being ripped off, and then poisoned, by drinking bottled water from unknown sources.

Recently found in bottled drinking water: Trihalomethanes, Haloacetic acids, Nitrates, Ammonia, Acetaldehyde, Hexane, Toluene, bacterial contamination, Arsenic, radioactivity contamination (and more…)

Not the sort of chemical cocktail you had in mind when you bought bottled water at the grocery store, now is it?

The results of a two year study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) were recently released, detailing the lab tests of 10 brands of bottled drinking water from 8 different states in the US.

The report is shocking.

38 different chemical pollutants were detected, with an average of 8 contaminants per brand. One-third of the chemicals they found are not even regulated in drinking water. Some brands, like Sam’s Choice (Wal Mart) and Acadia (Giant) contained cancer-causing chemicals at levels exceeding the standards for safety set by the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

A survey of 228 brands of bottled water by EWG found that less than half gave any information about the source of the water or any treatment (if treated at all). So where does the water come from?

Funny you should ask.

It could come from a rusty tap under the bathroom sink. It could come from a sterile bottling room. Who the hell knows?

It turns out that bottled water suppliers aren’t required to disclose the results of any contaminant testing or identify the source of the water. Tap water providers are required to report to consumers about filtration techniques, water source, and any contaminants found in the supply. Thus it may be a good idea to look at Quench water dispensers as they can help filter out the remaining contaminants and save you money.

With bottled water being sold for up to 1000 times the cost of tap water, you might expect it to be somehow safer or healthier. Not so. It might just be tap water with a fancy label and a picture of a pristine mountain meadow…

Why the deception?

Because bottled water is a 12 Billion dollar a year industry in America!

“For years the bottled water industry has marketed their product with the message that it is somehow safer or purer than tap water. . “This new report provides even more evidence that the purity of bottled water is nothing more than a myth propagated to trick consumers into paying thousands times more for a product than what it is actually worth.” -Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, a non-profit consumer advocacy group

What can you do to ensure safe drinking water for your family?

  • Check out your city’s water supply at the National Tap Water Quality Database
  • Get a carbon filter or reverse osmosis filter for your tap at home and drink filtered tap water.
  • Change the filter cartridge regularly, as recommended
  • Carry your water with you in a BPA-free container, like stainless steel, so you aren’t tempted to buy bottled water.
  • Send your kids with water in a stainless or BPA-free container. Don’t let others give your kids bottled water.
  • Use filtered water for cooking as well.

Read EWG’s full report on bottled water.

Image: LeeBrimelow on Flickr under Creative Commons License


  1. My kids’ school has banned the disposable bottle.

    Can I get a “woot”?!

  2. In your picture, thouse are Costco bottles.

  3. Sorry, yeah, they are Costco bottles…

  4. Bottled water is a trend, a fad at best and needs to be stopped. Reusable water bottles rinsable at the source are much better for the environment and the pocketbook. The oncoming Great Depression will trim away foolish trends like bottled water and many “disposable” items too.The next generation will be much more frugal and sensible with cash. The party is over, the brown stuff has hit the fan, Wake Up America, Last Call!

  5. WHOA… That is just terrifying. My ostrich tenancies have been evaded again. Thanks for bringing this the the forefront!

  6. My biggest concern here is the fact that where we live the water is not safe. Our water is not being regulated as it should. There have been deaths from cancer and miscarriage – the only thing any of those people have in common is the water. We have no choice but to buy bottled. Additionally, with my husband being unemployed, we cannot afford an expensive (or any) filtration system for our home. Frankly, with the scariness of the water here, I’m not sure it would help even if we could afford it.

  7. Answer to Amanda said on Jan. 29th,2009 aat 12:42pmm:

    In general, bottled water over time, cost much much more than filtered water. With minimal saving(2.50 US$ a day for a year), invest in a Multi-Pure drinking water treatment system. Over the next ten years, your family can enjoy fresh/clean drinking water right from your kitchen tap. Cost effective and good to the environment. Need help, visit my website.

  8. wats da pricee???????????????

  9. Unless you have the funds to invest in a very expensive reverse osmosis water treatment treatment system in your home you will not get rid of the flouride in the water, which is poison. A regular tap filter, counter filter or pitcher filter cannot rid your water of this.

  10. CONSUME IODINE. It removes fluoride from you body.


  1. […] half of it is sourced from tap water in the US and simply put through a couple more filters. Also, harmful toxins have been found in bottled water. So is it really worth it? Tags: bottled water, Water Category: […]

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