Bottled water may contain pollutants

Oct. 15, 2008 at 1:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A non-profit group says 10 U.S. bottled water brands contain 38 different pollutants but the water bottling industry says its water is fully regulated.

The Environmental Working Group had 10 U.S. bottled water brands subject to laboratory tests and found the water contained mixtures of 38 different pollutants, including bacteria, fertilizer, Tylenol and industrial chemicals.

"The bottled water industry promotes its products as pure and healthy but our tests show that pollutants in some popular brands match the levels found in some of the nation's most polluted big city tap water systems,"Jane Houlihan of Environment Working Group says in a statement. "Consumers can't trust that what's in the bottle is anything more than processed, pricey tap water."

The International Bottled Water Association said that bottled water isn't simply tap water in a bottle. Bottled water companies that use municipal source water often treat and purify the water employing processes such as reverse osmosis and distillation and if so, the product will be labeled as "purified water," or "reverse osmosis water."

If bottled water from a municipal water system and has not been further treated, U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires the label to state that it is from a municipal or community water system.

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