Bottled water has become a fixture in many households because it’s convenient and trusted, but a new report published from the Environmental Working Group pokes a few holes in that trust based on the secrecy surrounding their water purification methods.
A Yahoo article reports that EWG analyzed 173 different brands of bottled water, researching whether products and company websites were forthcoming with information on where the water comes from, how or if the water is treated, whether the results of purity testing are revealed and how effective the water treatment methods were.
Over half of them failed the study’s transparency test, and EWG says that’s because many of these companies had something to hide. "Bottled water companies try hard to hide information you might find troubling," said Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of EWG.
Information about tap water is available to the public through the Environmental Protection Agency, however, bottled water companies aren’t required to disclose their information to consumers.
Out of 173 brands, only three got the top grades while many others, including Publix bottled water and Wholefoods Italian Still Mineral water got the worst possible grade, an F. The popular Zephyrhills brand faired a little better with a D grade.
Higher prices didn’t always mean higher quality. Some of the more expensive brands like Evian Natural Spring Water and Fiji Water got a C grade, and while no bottled water got an A grade, the highest scoring brands falling into the B range were Gerber Pure Purified Water, Nestle Pure Life Purified water and Penta Ultra Purified Water.
The only water given the distinction of the coveted A grade may be a bit of a surprise. Filtered tap water is considered the cream of the crop, because EWG says if you change the filter regularly, it is purer than bottled water and it saves loads of money.
To give you an idea just how expensive the bottled water habit is, prepackaged water can be 1,900 times more costly than water from the tap.
The report suggests that when bottled water is your only option, choose brands that use advanced treatment technologies including reverse osmosis and microfiltration.
The article goes on to say there could be confusion when it comes to advising folks to drink tap water, especially when it comes to conflicting reports about contaminants in municipal water supplies, such as chromium 6 that was mentioned in a previous EWG report.
However, Houlihan said chromium is as likely to be in bottled water as tap water and she advises that a reverse osmosis filter can fix that problem.
For the complete listing of the bottled water scores, visit EWG’s website.
Tips on the best options for filtering your water at home are also available at the website .
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