Don’t hate yourself for trusting them! One Third of Bottled Water Contains Contaminants

Bottled Water Contains Contaminants

Bottled water lies

Sacramento – Saying consumers should know what they’re drinking, environmentalists and the East Bay Municipal Utility District want bottled water to follow the same disclosure rules as tap water.

Makers of bottled water, which include Pepsi and Coca-Cola, say there is already plenty of disclosure about their water’s contents.

Advocates of two bills introduced in the Legislature say there isn’t nearly enough.

Sacramento – Saying

“People tout bottled water as this pure substance that’s trickling from clear mountain springs when, in fact, that may not be the case,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, author of one of the bills.

“When I pick up bottled water, I want to know it truly is something that’s good for me and better for me than drinking something else,” Corbett said.

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Nearly 70 percent of Californians drink bottled water, which nationwide is a $6 billion industry. And by the end of this year, bottled water will have moved past milk, coffee and beer to become the second most popular beverage behind soft drinks, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp.

Bottled water’s popularity is fuelled in part by suspicions over the quality of tap water.

But Corbett and the backers of her bill say drink no way of knowing whether bottled water is better or worse.

Unlike tap water, bottled water is considered a food product and is subject to the same sanitation and preparation requirements as other food stuffs.

Although often advertising themselves as superior to tap water, bottlers are required in most cases only to meet the same quality standards as tap water.

Of the hundreds of contaminants state and federal regulators measure, bottled water is subject to a higher standard for only two, according to Randy Kanouse, EBMUD’s Sacramento lobbyist.

Bottlers don’t have to create a “consumer confidence” report each year like water agencies do. The reports tell customers what’s in their water. It details levels of contaminants, if any, like lead, aluminium, arsenic and salt.

Corbett’s bill, AB83, and a companion bill, SB50, by Sen. Byron Sher, D- Palo Alto, would impose the same reporting requirement on bottlers.

Bottling plants and water vending machines would be subject to annual inspections. Bottlers, vending machine owners and water haulers would pay an $86 fee to cover the costs of the inspections.

Bottlers say the bills aren’t needed.

“There are already comprehensive, stringent regulations in place at the federal level for quality labeling,” said Stephen Kay, a spokesman for the International Bottled Water Association. “These two proposed bills are proscriptive and redundant.”

Kay also cited a bill signed last year that requires bottlers to include an 800 number, Web site or address on their labels so consumers can get more information.

But Adrianna Quintero, a lobbyist for the Natural Resources Defence Council, says knowing the nutritional facts about water is not enough.

“It’s pointless to tell me water has zero calories and zero carbohydrates,” Quintero said. “Is there arsenic, nitrates, microbiologic contaminants, perchlorate? If these bottlers are doing the right thing, they shouldn’t have a problem telling me about it.”Bottle vs Tap

The Food and Drug Administration needs to tightened its regulations on bottled water after a four-year study by the NRDC found that of 103 brands surveyed, one- third contained levels of contamination.

The NRDC found the contents of one bottle, labeled “Spring Water,” actually came from an industrial parking lot next to a hazardous waste site.

The FDA now insists that bottled water actually come from a spring if the bottler claims it does.

Bottled water sales have been growing at roughly 10 percent each year through the 1990s.

California is by far the biggest guzzler of bottled water, representing about 24 percent of the national market — twice the consumption level of any other state.

It’s attracted the interest of some of the country’s biggest beverage sellers like Pepsi, which created Aquafina bottled water. Coca-Cola created Dasani.

Nestle Waters of North America owns Arrowhead, Calistoga, Poland Spring, Perrier, S. Pellegrino and Vittel.

But water districts like EBMUD aren’t worried.

“Bottled water doesn’t cut into our market share,” said Kanouse. “It’s kind of like conservation — it relieves a small amount of the demand we have.”

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EPA to Work with Drinking Water Systems to Monitor Unregulated Contaminants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published a list of 28 chemicals and two viruses that approximately 6,000 public water systems will monitor from 2013 to 2015 as part of the agency’s unregulated contaminant monitoring program, which collects data for contaminants suspected to be present in drinking water, but that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

EPA will spend more than $20 million to support the monitoring

the majority of which will be devoted to assist small drinking water systems with conducting the monitoring. The data collected under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR 3) will inform EPA about the frequency and levels at which these contaminants are found in drinking water systems across the United States and help determine whether additional protections are needed to ensure safe drinking water for Americans. State participation in the monitoring is voluntary. EPA will fund small drinking water system costs for laboratory analyses, shipping and quality control.

The list of contaminants to be studied includes total chromium and hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6. Addressing hexavalent chromium in drinking water is a priority for EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. In January 2011, EPA issued guidance to all water systems on how to assess the prevalence of hexavalent chromium and in the March 2011 proposal for UCMR 3, EPA invited comments on whether the agency should include chromium in the final rule. Public comments received by EPA were strongly supportive of adding total chromium and hexavalent chromium for monitoring.

“The monitoring that will take place will provide EPA with invaluable information about what municipalities are seeing in their drinking water all across the country,” said EPA acting assistant administrator for Water Nancy Stoner. “The results of this multi-year monitoring effort will help inform EPA’s work to ensure Americans receive safe drinking water.”

EPA selected the contaminants by first reviewing the agency’s contaminant candidate list

Highlights priority contaminants that need additional research to support future drinking water protections. The contaminants on the list are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems. However, they are not addressed by existing national drinking water standards. Additional contaminants of concern were selected based on current occurrence research and health-risk factors.

EPA has standards for 91 contaminants in drinking water, and the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that EPA identify up to 30 additional unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years.

For more information, visit: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/index.cfm.

Contact: Cathy Milbourn, 202/564-7849, milbourn.cathy@epa.gov

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How to Survive When There is No Safe Drinking Water

Water means life!

We can’t live without it. Not for long – only a few days, at most one week. In fact, water is the one thing that we need the most, to survive. 

The American Red Cross advises to use bleach to purify your drinking water.  What they fail to tell you is that bleach is a toxic poison, not really your best choice!

Far too often, survival minded ‘preppers’ think of and concentrate on storing extra food, with lesser regard for storing water. For some reason, there is an underlying assumption that obtaining water during an emergency or disaster will not be a problem. For some, this may be true, especially if they live right next to a plentiful source of water. But for those that rely on a steady supply of water from their faucet, think again.

Without electricity, most homes will quickly lose their water pressure as municipal pumps will be unable to supply. Don’t count on municipal generators to keep on pumping your water or to be in every pump location where they need to be.

The general rule for storing water for an emergency or disaster is 1 gallon per person per day.

There are variations to this generality, ranging from a half gallon to as much as 3 gallons per person per day because there are other uses for water besides just drinking.

A problem that you will encounter during an emergency or disaster is not only obtaining water to drink, but treating it to make the water safe to drink.

Boil water, if you can…

A best way to treat water for drinking is to boil it first. Well, almost boiling… you don’t actually have to heat water all the way to boiling to rid it of microorganisms.

According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude. To be extra safe, let the water boil rapidly for one minute, especially at higher altitudes since water boils at a lower temperature.

If boiling is not possible, or to add a layer of protection after boiling (after cool down), another very effective way to make water safe to drink is to add a specific amount of household bleach. Bleach contains about 5 to 6 percent chlorine, which will disinfect the water if added in the right amount. First things first. If the water is cloudy and contains sediment, it should be strained through a filter by using a cloth or coffee filter (use your common sense here with whatever is available). Of course if you have a “real” water filter with you, you’re safe to begin with.

How to purify water with Bleach, a TOXIC POISON!

According to the American Red Cross,

  • Use regular liquid bleach (any brand). The only active ingredient should be sodium hypochlorite (concentration 5.25 – 6 percent). If you also see sodium hydroxide on the ingredient list, it is apparently OK and safe. Do not use bleach that contain soaps, perfumes, or dyes. Be sure to read the label.
  • Add 16 drops (basically, one-eighth US teaspoon) of regular liquid bleach per one gallon of water. Use 8 drops if using a 2-liter bottle. Get a dropper!
  • Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Then, smell the water. If the water has a faint smell of chlorine, then it is OK to use. If you cannot detect any chlorine odor, add another 16 drops of regular liquid bleach (8 drops for 2-liter bottle). Let stand, and smell it again. If you still cannot smell chlorine, discard it and find another water source.

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Bottled Water: Illusions of Purity

Despite the marketing, bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, tap water is subject to more stringent regulation that bottled water. Tap water is regulated by the EPA, while Illusions of Puritybottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  Perpetually under-funded and short-staffed, FDA has a poor record of protecting consumer health and safety. FDA sends inspectors to bottling plants once every two to three years.

Get the Facts

  • In 2009, almost 50 percent of all bottled water came from municipal tap water supplies.
  • According to a 2010 survey, only 3 companies provide the public with the same level of information available for tap water. This includes where the water came from, how it was treated and what the results of the water quality tests were.
  • Independent testing of bottled water conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2008 found that 10 popular brands of bottled water, purchased from grocery stores and other retailers in 9 states and the District of Columbia, contained 38 chemical pollutants, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand.

What You Can Do

  • Reduce your bottled water consumption.
  • Carry your own bottle. Lined aluminum, glass, or stainless steel are alernatives to plastic bottles.
  • Take the pledge to break the bottled water habit and spread the word!
  • Tap water is a better choice than bottled for our health, our wallets and our environment.

Did you know that…

  • … Bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water.
  • Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water. Compare $0.002 per gallon for most tap water to a range of $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon for bottled waters.
  • Bottled water hurts the environment. After millions of barrels of oil are used to produce and ship plastic water bottles, 75% of them land in the garbage or our waterways instead of the recycle bin.

American consumers drink more bottled water every year, in part because they think it is somehow safer or better than tap water. They collectively spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more per gallon for water in a plastic bottle than they would for the H20 flowing from their taps. Rather than buying into this myth of purity in a bottle, consumers should drink from the tap. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water.

In some cases, beverage companies use misleading labels, including marketing bottled tap water as spring water. In fact, as much as 40 percent of bottled water is bottled tap water.

Furthermore, the production of bottled water causes many equity, public health, and environmental problems. The big beverage companies often take water from municipal or underground sources that local people depend on for drinking water. Producing the plastic bottles uses energy and emits toxic chemicals. Transporting the bottled water across hundreds or thousands of miles spews carbon dioxide into the air, complicating our efforts to combat global climate change. And in the end, empty bottles are piling up in landfills.

How can you protect yourself and your family from pathogenic water?

Take Back the Tap!

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NutraSilver is used as a water purification system by backpackers, international travelers, soldiers and anyone who must have drinking water that is completely purified and safe to drink. Sold globally for over 15 years, NutraSilver® has saved countless lives in third-world countries.

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Children and the Risks of Contaminated Water

Know the facts about your children’s drinking water

The following excerpt from a report entitled Just Add Water from the Environmental Working Group by Brian A. Cohen, Richard Wiles, Erik D. Olson, and Chris Campbell, should help families recognize the importance of drinking pure, contaminant free water.

  • Drinking water standards have many other shortcomings beyond their failure to regulate common drinking water contaminants such as radon, Cryptosporidium and pesticides like cyanazine. One of the most serious is the fact that most current federal drinking water standards do not make any specific accommodation for the special risks and heavy consumption of water by infants and young children.
  • One-year-olds drink more than twice as much water relative to their size as adults. Measured in terms of total fluid intake, an adult would have to drink 35 cans of soda per day to match the drinking habits of the average one-year-old. Because of this, infants and young children are exposed to more water-borne contaminants, relative to their size, than adults. (emphasis mine) This higher exposure combined with the increased vulnerability of infants to many chemical and microbiological contaminants, means infants and young children face increased risks from virtually all contaminants in drinking water, and that current standards almost always do not provide adequate protections for this vulnerable portion of the population.
  • In October of 1995, the EPA announced a new policy to protect infants and children from exposure to toxic substances. At that time, EPA Administrator Carol Browner noted that the policy:
    “…will, for the first time, ensure that we consistently and explicitly evaluate environmental health risks of infants and children in all risk assessments, risk characterizations, and environmental and public health standards that we set for the nation.” (EPA 1995)
  • In justifying the need for this new policy the EPA cited two National Academy of Sciences studies (NRC 1993, NRC 1994) that called for major policy changes at the EPA to integrate explicit protections for children when evaluating health risks from environmental contaminants.
  • To date, just two (lead and nitrate) of the more than eighty drinking water standards have been set explicitly to protect infants and children from immediate or long term health risk. No standards have been modified since the EPA policy was announced.
  • Similarly, drinking water standards do not account for multiple contaminants in a single glass of water. Instead, they are set as though people are exposed to one contaminant at a time, which very often is not the case.

Biological Contaminants

eColi bacterium

E. coli, giardia and cryptosporidia cysts can all cause gastro-intestinal problems where dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting may be more severe and rapid than in adults.  These contaminants can cause death.  In 1998, EPA established the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, which strengthens control over microbial contaminants, including the pathogen, Cryptosporidium. By 2002, public water systems using surface water (or ground water under the direct influence of surface water) and serving more than 10,000 people must comply with the rule. States must adopt the new standards by 2001.  In some people, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, E. coli 0157:H7 infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. About 2% of infections lead to this complication.

What can you do to protect your children from Pathogens in their drinking water?

Imagine, you and your family can have safe drinking water wherever you are for just pennies and without the need to boil water or use harsh chemicals or drugs. There are many ways to purify water that use harmful chemicals (chlorine) or boiling, but they are either harmful to your health or cumbersome when camping or hiking. NutraSilver weighs 1 ounce and can be carried where ever you go.

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