Posted by: Charissa Heckard | January 31, 2012

Bottled water: problems with the bottle, problems with the water

To avoid tap water, people reach for bottled water.  In places including Arizona, bottled water can, in some cases, be worse than tap water. Studies done by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC)  found that bottled water is far less regulated by the FDA than tap water.

When water is put into plastic, the water interacts with the chemicals in the plastic bottles. One of the main chemical is called Bisphenol-A. It mimics estrogen like pharmaceutical chemicals such as birth control or hormone replacement medication.

Bottled water sold everywhere.

I have heard people say chemicals in the plastic only interact if the water becomes warm in the bottle. This is false. Water is carted throughout the United States in trucks, potentially allowing the water to heat up and react with the plastic chemicals. There are no regulations stating that bottles need to be cooled before water is put in them.

Chemicals are being released from the plastic and the water being used to fill the bottles have very little regulation, meaning they can carry larger amounts of chemicals and bacteria than tap water.

Privatized companies packaging and selling water within the same state are exempt from the FDA’s water testing standards. We are forced to believe when they say they have their own regulations. 75 percent of bottled water comes from springs and wells while the other 25 percent comes from municipal water systems. Bottled water brands such as Great Bear, Glacier Spring and Dasani are essentially purified, treated tap water that you pay more than a dollar per bottle.

Hormones found in tap water can also be found in bottled water because there are no laws forcing regulation and testing for certain chemicals. The NRDC found that 60-70 percent of bottled water are not held to the FDA’s regulations because they are packaged and sold in the same state. This puts the individual states in charge of testing the water, which not all do. Companies such as Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, started bottling water inFlagstaff, Ariz. and people reacted because of the high levels of estrogen found in the water. Scientists have tested water sources and reported high levels of these hormones where the water is coming from.

So what?

These hormones have negative effects on humans and animals. Studies have shown the negative effects in fish living in areas with similar estrogen levels. The gender of the fish studied in Flagstaff is changing. Male fish have eggs growing in their scrotum while female fish are close to 100 percent female.

The fact that companies want to take this water full of chemicals that have these types of effects, fail to remove them, then bottle the water and sell it as a healthy alternative is unconscionable.

If you are interested in the politics and other health issues surrounding bottled water on a world wide scale I suggest you watch the documentary called Tapped. I enjoyed it because it is organized well for the public to better understand how all the problems are connected.



  1. I just watched that movie today. I absolutely agree with you. We had cut down on our consumption of bottled water, but now are going to try to cut it out entirely and take our Kleen Kanteen’s everywhere with us from now on! Have you seen the movie Flow? It’s on Netflix and I think I’ll watch it next.

  2. This is a wonderful article-I learned so much. I think I’ll stop using bottled water! Charissa’s writing is so easy for a layman (or woman ) to understand and made me think about this topic-alot! I look forward to reading her future blogs.

  3. I agree with your concern over BPA; however, you have only researched into aspects and have paired it with the potential use in bottled water. BPA is normally only within plastics such as #3 and #7 and are generally never used in the production of Plastics 1,2,4,5,6. Food and beverage products such as bottled water, soda, peanut butter, mayo, etc… are packaged in Plastic #1 also known as PETE, PET.

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