Bottled water sold in markets and convenience stores may be no more free of pollutants than the water that pours from the kitchen tap at a fraction of the cost, said an environmental group that tested samples.
Ten top-selling brands of bottled water contained a total of 38 pollutants including fertilizer, industrial chemicals, bacteria and the residue of drugs such as Tylenol, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group based in Washington, D.C. The bottled water showed an average of eight pollutants in each sample.
Americans drank more than twice as much bottled water in 2007 as they did in 1997, guzzling 8.8 billion gallons at a cost of $10.3 billion in 2007, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp., a research and consulting firm based in New York. Although commercials often show pristine mountain springs, the reality is that bottled water often comes from city water supplies, said Renee Sharp, an Environmental Working Group senior scientist.
“If you’re going to pay 1,500 times more for bottled water than for tap you’d expect that you’d be getting a cleaner, better product,” said Sharp. “And that’s not necessarily true.” – BLOOM