Is bottled water really better?
Sales of bottled water have grown to record levels as people have become more affluent and more conscious about their health. Advertisements for bottled water help to boost sales by emphasizing the purity and the taste of the product.
In reality, bottled water is seldom better than the city water that comes out of a faucet. Last July, news channels reported that Pepsi's Aquafina and Coca-Cola's Dasani are both made from public water sources. Unless the labels of the bottles say that the source of the water is a spring, bottled water usually comes from municipal water supplies, and it can be 10,000 times more expensive than tap water due to transportation and packaging costs.
Dentists have noticed a rise in the number of tooth cavities in children due to drinking bottled water. Bottled water usually does not have the fluoride that is normally added to municipal water, and fluoride has been shown to strengthen teeth and reduce cavities. Bottled water is basically a luxury item that does not have any benefits over most municipal public water sources, but there are exceptions, such as in some neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. where the water is distributed through old lead pipes.
The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority officials announced a program that will replace all the city's estimated 23,000 lead pipes by 2010 at a cost of $300 million. The agency's Board of Directors mandated the plan after tests showed that thousands of District homes had water with lead levels above the federal safety limit.
Bottled water is a good option for places with unsafe municipal or underground water sources. As an alternative, purifying filters, such as Brita filters that contain activated charcoal and ion-exchange resins, can be used to remove chlorine and heavy metals like lead and mercury, but these filters are not effective against bacterial contamination.
© Copyright - Antonio Zamora