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The Bottled Water Debate | ChemistryTwig

The Bottled Water Debate

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The debate between bottled water and tap water has heated up over the past year.  A town in Australia has taken the debate to a new level by completely banning the sale of bottled water altogether.  People have been complaining that bottled water is no better than tap water and that it contributes significantly to the pollution problem.  The question is; chemically speaking, is bottled water healthier than tap water?

According to the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF), 8.5% of the U.S. population receiving public water is receiving water with health-based violations.  That’s roughly 19 million people receiving water that does not meet regulation.  The National Resources Defense Council, on the other hand, claims that about 22% of the bottled water they tested contained contaminants at levels above state health limits.

There is also the concern of water having chemical levels that are too low to promote healthy living.  Bottled water that is distilled or filtered through reverse osmosis generally contains no fluoride ions, a key component promoting tooth health.  Some bottled waters also have low levels of magnesium and calcium, two minerals believed to promote positive general health.  However, some bottled spring waters, including Perrier and Evian, contain relatively high levels of these minerals.  Typical tap water in the New York City region has levels of calcium and magnesium that are lower than many bottled waters.  The debate continues…

People have gone further to argue that the plastic bottles emit harmful chemicals into the water, therefore making bottled water unhealthy.  It can also be argued that many piping systems contribute contaminates, as do unclean water faucets.

The general conclusion is that bottled water is safe and may be more or less healthy than tap water based on your location.  Ultimately, bottled water pollutes more as a result of the packaging and people’s inability to recycle all of the bottles.  The only thing that prevents me from purchasing bottled water is the high price!  What’s your opinion of bottled water?

For more information visit How is Water Purified?

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