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Some Bottled Water Brands Contain Contaminants
Posted: October 16, 2008
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The other eight, which researchers didn't identify, carried legal levels of many contaminants. Some of those chemicals, like arsenic and the solvent toluene, have been tied to health risks. Some of the contaminants apparently came from pollutants often found in tap water, and others probably leached from plastic bottles, the researchers said.
In the Wal-Mart and Giant Food bottled water, the highest concentration of chlorine byproducts, known as trihalomethanes, was over 35 parts per billion. California requires 10 parts per billion or less, and the industry's International Bottled Water Association makes 10 its voluntary guideline. The federal limit is 80.
Water researcher Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment of the University at Albany, who had no role in the study, singled out trihalomethanes as the biggest concern because of strong research links to cancer. "These are levels that should not be in bottled water," he said.
Giant Food officials declined to comment. Instead, company officials released a brief statement asserting that Acadia meets all regulatory standards. Acadia is sold in the mid-Atlantic states, so it isn't held to California's standard. In most places, bottled water must meet roughly the same federal standards as tap water.
The researchers also said the Wal-Mart brand exceeded California's limit by five times for a second chlorine byproduct, bromodichloromethane. The Environmental Working Group said it notified California's attorney general of its intent to sue Wal-Mart. The group wants the company to label its bottles in California with a warning of cancer-causing chemicals. Wal-Mart did not respond to a request for comment.