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What is in bottled water?

Updated on November 27, 2011

Bottled water is always marketed as being pure, cleaner, and even safer than tap water. There is also the false perception that all bottled water is spring water, or that it comes from some amazingly clean source. But where does the water usually come from? It comes from rivers, lakes, and even from city water that your tax dollars pay for. Some major bottled water companies just use city water and filter it themselves, and then sell it back to you.

Is bottled water safe?

Bottled water usually has similar regulations as city water. But the major issue with bottled water is the plastic. What is wrong with plastic? Plastic leaches hazardous chemicals into your water and food. It's not good to microwave anything in plastic or even keep food in it. Plastic will leach especially when it gets hot, but the chemicals will still leach in colder temperatures. In many situations bottled water is often sitting at room temperature, exposed to the hot sun, or even sitting in a hot car.

BPA in water bottles

One of the many chemicals found in plastic is bisphenol A (BPA). The effects of this chemical primary cause problems with fertility and reproduction in both males and females. BPA is an estrogenic-like compound. Is that reason enough to avoid it? It is also linked to many cancers and other diseases. No one really knows the full extent of just how bad BPA is yet. And there are many more potentially dangerous chemicals in plastic. More and more you can find BPA free plastic, but that doesn't guarantee the other chemicals in it are safe.

BPA may also be found in water filter pitchers. The water is usually kept cold and does not spend as much time exposed to the plastic. It is not the best solution out there but they still provide cleaner water. You have to weigh to pros and cons.

Bottled water is expensive

It is not only more expensive than gasoline, bottled water is over 1,000 times more expensive than tap water. I read a report that said it is actually 1,900 times more expensive. If you use water filters at home it is still many times cheaper than bottled water.

There are many under the counter, or under the sink water filters, that you can buy from Amazon that are very easy to install and inexpensive. These are probably one of the easiest solutions. If you need water bottles they also sell metal ones which are much safer and more durable.

Water bottle pollution

Drinking from water bottles is not healthier than tap water, it often has the same cocktail of chemicals in it, but your bottled water has been absorbing those extra chemicals from plastic. This is a good enough reason to limit and even avoid it. But a major one is the massive pollution problem it has already caused. The bottles get thrown everywhere and soon there won't be anywhere to throw it.


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    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

      You have the amazing article enlighten the people about the secret of bottle water- how dangerous it is.!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Thank you for this important information. God Bless You.

    • Durant profile image

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for the compliments. We are so bombarded with chemicals these days that it's important to avoid one of the major sources - contaminated water.

      Thankfully there are and more great water filter products on the market.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Interesting to hear that rumors are corroborated -- we're sometimes paying for our own water. Your hub is short but informative! voted up.

    • mistifields profile image

      mistifields 5 years ago

      Good information. Thanks for writing.

    • Durant profile image

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      Coca-Cola and Pepsico use city water in many places. It's big brands that have been doing this, but I guess that's not so shocking considering the products they make.

      Thank you for your compliments and voting up. :)

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Great Information! Voted up, awesome & shared! :)

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      An article that should instill the use of nonplastic containers for food and drink. Glass is the best substitute for plastic or metal in a oinch. Thanks


    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, for a travel water bottle, I think stainless steel is best. Glass is a bit dangerous! :)

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

      There's too much plastic in the food industry. A little less would be very welcome!

    • profile image

      Vladi Dorfman 5 years ago

      I thought it was absurd to pay so much for water, but I never knew that their price wasn't worth it.

    • nina64 profile image

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      When this bottled water thing came out some years ago, I never really got into it. Why should I pay for something that is already free? I don't know what is in this water. Some of these companies are literally bilking consumers out of billions of dollars for their so called "bottled spring water". I think it is such a shame to buy a product that you can get for free in your own homes.

    • Durant profile image

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      Bottled water is something I never really got into either. I feel that water purifiers are worth the money because they remove a lot of bad things from the water, and also improve the taste. For example, coffee or tea tastes much better when used with filtered water. Bottled water is just too expensive let alone the dangers.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Yes, I have used my Britta pitcher for over 15 years now. There has been very little rise in the cost of filters, and the original pitcher seems like it will just last forever. It's quite affordable!

    • pedrn44 profile image

      pedrn44 5 years ago from New Berlin Wisconsin

      I drink bottled water mostly out of convenience. It's accessible and easy to carry around. My tap water is actually pretty good and I know I should get a stainless steel water bottle and refill it. I also know I make a mistake by refilling the bottled water with my tap water, right? I think I have heard the bottles should not be refilled. Thanks for all this information.

    • SEM Pro profile image

      SEM Pro 5 years ago from North America

      Well written and informative Durant. I too am on a mission to help educate concerning water, plastic and getting our bodies back to the proper ph levels for disease eliminatation with filters that raise the alkalinity (and one that adds back the minerals we need plus).

      Any time I see Fuji water I cannot help but talk to whoever is drinking it, or whatever store offers it - especially health food stores. Fuji's lable states it has 240 parts [crap] per million when tap water is only 70 - its as if they brag about being over 3x worse than any free tap water!

      Thank you for this and for becoming a follower of mine. I'm looking forward to reading more of your hubs - especially of Ontario where I used to live. :) Def voted up!

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 5 years ago from Miami, US

      It feels impossible to get something as basic as water in a way that isn't harmful. I guess the best solution is to have your own well!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Tap water is perfectly usable. Just get a filtration system (like an affordable, easily available Brita pitcher) to filter out the impurities.

    • videogameviking profile image

      videogameviking 5 years ago from California

      I've been reading a lot about the hazards of plastic lately, and have been trying to avoid it by using glass instead. Plastic is very dangerous, especially if used in the microwave. Though, I tend to avoid the microwave too. As a kid I was a microwave-aholic, and as an adult I decided not to use it; it doesn't take too much longer to use the oven, and it's even quicker to eat raw foods which are healthier in the long run anyway.

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