Providing drinking water under the EPA’s 70 part per trillion (ppt) advisory still allows for people to consume dangerous levels of the toxins, considering that the nation’s top public health officials say 1 ppt in drinking water is likely to be dangerous.
As a society, we tend to drink more bottled water than anything else. It is a big industry that provides billions of gallons of water to consumers each year. Recently, Consumer Reports tested 47 bottled water brands for PFAS content, and found eye-opening results.
PFAS is often called a “forever chemical” because they are hard to break down and last a very long time. Industry groups like the International Bottled Water Association, countered the report, claiming that it was “misleading and will unnecessarily frighten consumers”.
There are almost 5,000 different types of PFAS that can accumulate in the human body with time, causing health issues (according to the FDA). According to the CDC, human health effects from exposure to low levels of PFAS are “uncertain”.
But do you really trust a government organization that may be simply protecting another government organization? Current EPA thresholds for parts per trillion of PFAS stands at 70ppt. The IBWA’s level is more stringent, at just 5ppt. But some experts believe it should be as low as 1ppt.
A recent article by Today dives deeper into specific brands and instances of PFAS in bottled water.
The tests focused on 30 PFAS chemicals and four heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
Consumer Reports found two of the 35 noncarbonated waters tested exceeded the 1 part per trillion PFAS threshold. These are:
- Deer Park Natural Spring Water, 1.21
- Tourmaline Spring Sacred Living Water, 4.64
In response, Tourmaline Spring said the amount of PFAS in its bottled water was below the levels set by the IBWA and all states. Nestlé, producer of Deer Park, told Consumer Reports its most recent testing for the brand indicated undetectable levels of PFAS.
In addition to these results, Consumer Reports found that seven of the 12 carbonated waters tested exceeded the 1 part per trillion PFAS threshold. They are:
- Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water, 1.1
- La Croix Natural Sparkling Water, 1.16
- Canada Dry Lemon Lime Sparkling Seltzer Water, 1.24
- Poland Spring Zesty Lime Sparkling Water, 1.66
- Bubly Blackberry Sparkling Water, 2.24
- Polar Natural Seltzer Water, 6.41
- Topo Chico Natural Mineral Water, 9.76
PFAS is a hot topic in terms of environmental contamination, especially as it relates to massive system-wide contamination within the military. Over 600 bases have been reviewed for use of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) that contain dangerous PFAS chemicals. Over half are drawing even further scrutiny, with not only testing on base, but in also finding its way into nearby civilian wells.
If you’re looking for PFAS on the DOD website, go there via this link: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) 101. PFAS 101 states, “DoD’s priority is to quickly address PFOS and PFOA in drinking water from DoD activities under the federal cleanup law.” Sadly, the DOD has contaminated drinking water with a variety of toxic PFAS chemicals, not just the PFOS and PFOA which have been substituted by other toxic PFAS chemicals in the firefighting foams.
Bottom line…forever chemicals are a major problem not only at bases across the country, but also now in consumer products we use daily. According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, some studies have shown that long chain PFAS like PFOA and PFOS may:
- cause developmental effects in infants
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- increase a woman’s blood pressure during pregnancy
- lower infant birth weights
- interfere with the body’s natural hormones
- increase cholesterol levels
- affect the immune system
- increase the risk of cancer
The full picture of health impacts to those exposed is still being figured out.
- https://news.yahoo.com/popular-bottled-water-brands-contain-142550423.html – Today
- Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) 101 – Department of Defense
- https://www.consumerreports.org/bottled-water/whats-really-in-your-bottled-water/ – Consumer Reports
- https://health.ri.gov/water/about/pfas/ – Rhode Island Department of Health
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