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GAO: tap water pretty much safer than bottled water

  1. Jul 8, 2009 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2009 #2
    I think it is stupid to buy water unless you wouldn't get tap water or you have too much money.

    I just keep a water bottle and keep on refilling with tap water.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2009 #3

    mgb_phys

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    Coke launched Dasani bottled water in the UK
    First they got into trouble with the advertising standards agency for describing it as pure when it was simply London tap water, then it was 'voluntarily withdrawn' when it turned out that their bottling process added unacceptable levels of carcinogens.

    A friend of mine is having chemotherapy, one of the warnings is to only drink freshly poured tap water because of the risk of bacteria in bottled or filtered jug water.
     
  5. Jul 8, 2009 #4
    Could you at least summarize this 8 page pdf, rather than simply posting a one line question?
     
  6. Jul 8, 2009 #5

    Evo

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    Bottled water is not only a silly, unnecessary extravagance, the amount of plastic it is adding to landfills is horrendous. Buy a plastic bottle, fill it with water, rinse, repeat.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2009 #6

    lisab

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    Hear, hear. I've used the same 4-or-so bottles for over a year.

    My tap water is absolutely fantastic.
     
  8. Jul 8, 2009 #7
    Where do you get this??? When water is placed into a pleasing container with a special name it obtains to a unique form. You can tell because people drink it for a reason, so you should too. Water has nearly magical health benefits. It's, like, the staff of life, dude. Everybody know that.
     
  9. Jul 8, 2009 #8
    I just read it and I don't see where it says this. Only that the regulations regarding public drinking water are more rigorous. I actually saw nothing in the entirety of the article that contained any sort of actual conclusions on safety of bottled water. There were only conclusions regarding regulation and insinuations that lack of regulation may mean lack of safety.
     
  10. Jul 8, 2009 #9

    There's also a link in the article to the full report. Does the GAO really need to explicitly state everything to get the point across? The GAO basically said tap water is safer because it has more stringent oversight to prevent things like this:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS160197+24-Jun-2008+PRN20080624 [Broken]

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Jul 8, 2009 #10
    Yeah, well, so what packaged, manufactured, or fast food doesn't? It's either edible soap or that hint (or overwhelming) taste of fungus you get at the coffee machine when the vendor got lazy and didn't dush the hoppers with edible soap.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  12. Jul 8, 2009 #11
    That PDF isn't the report?

    Mere lack of regulation does not make bottled water less safe than tap water. It makes it less regulated. There are plenty of places out there where they have had scares about their tap water. Even just the plumbing in your home or apartment could be contaminating your tap water. I've drawn tap water in places where the water came out milky coloured and even brownish.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Jul 8, 2009 #12
    It's just a general overview/summary of the report, unless you want to read the 50+ page document:

    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09610.pdf



    Eh, you are splitting hairs here IMO. In general it is true that when things like drugs or water are more regulated, they are generally safer than when not, but as with anything in life there are certainly no 100% guarantees. The FDA is much more stringent with regulations on prescription drugs and hardly regulates things like supplements. Which are generally more safe for consumption in your opinion? Regulation is no guarantee because you will still have things like Vioxx that will happen, but things like that happen far less often than events when less regulation is involved (for example things like Ephedra or Hydroxycut).


    But again contaminants in tap water could come from your house plumbing, not the source of the water. Like the GAO report said:

    I fail to see how more information does not equate to more safety . Bottled water may be as safe as tap water, but who knows? The information out there to at least insulate this isn't out there because it isn't required!
     
  14. Jul 9, 2009 #13
    Gravenewworld, I would like you to do the following:

    (1) Not provide a link to a 50+ page pdf saying 'here read all this'. No one is going to do this. So if you have actually sat down and read this entire report, highlight the important pages you think are of particular interest to the rest of us.

    (2) The quote you provided simply says that bottled water companies do not have to provide this information to the consumer, it did not say they don't have to pass the same standards (or even what those standards are) before it can hit the market. Therefore, what you said in bold above is a dishonest statement given the facts you have provided. It simply implies that bottled water is at *least* as good as tap water, but possibly better.

    (3) This is nothing new. In fact, it's old news. So i'm puzzled as to why you are so surprised by this information.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2009 #14
    Here seems to be the primary issue that the report is concerned with...
    On top of FDA regulation 80% of bottled water producers also belong to the International Bottled Water Association which has even more strict guidelines than the FDA and EPA. There are also other bottled water safety orgs besides the IBWA.

    So apparently according to this report you cite the only real concern is this DEHP since it is the only significant difference in regulation.
     
  16. Jul 9, 2009 #15
    That's what the first link was for, it was a brief summary of the report that was pretty much only 3-4 pages. Why would I summarize a summary?




    It is all in the first link. It does not imply at all that bottled water is as good as tap. If the FDA is the only oversight watching bottled water manufacturers and they don't even have the power to obtain information about the quality of the water going into the bottles how does this imply that bottled water is as good as public tap water where much more comprehensive information on the quality of the water must be disclosed to an agency like the EPA?

    Eh. You hear of stories like this, but this is the first time that I know of that something as big as the GAO has spoken about it.
     
  17. Jul 9, 2009 #16
    Sounds like another lobbyist group running Washington.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27185076/from/ET/


    Don't forget, states have their own guidelines for public tap water purity too. It sounds like CA state's regulations are even tighter than the IBWA's.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  18. Jul 9, 2009 #17
    You are making a thread about this topic, I would expect you to have more to say about it than "Do you buy bottled water?".

    Then reference it. I'm not going to go sifting through that paper doing your homework for you.

    Source? (If it's from the paper, then show me where.) I did not see a source for what you said in bold.

    Perhaps, I don't follow what the GAO says closely enough to confirm nor deny that statement.
     
  19. Jul 9, 2009 #18
    Edit: I think you added this before I finished typing my reply:



    Thank you, finally, for a sourced piece of information.
     
  20. Jul 9, 2009 #19
    Bottled water companies must submit to testing from government agencies aswell as do their own testing. There is a whole section on all of the legally required testing in the report you cite.

    Unless you have some reason to disparage the IBWA, along with sources describing why, perhaps you should leave off the comments designed to discredit them?
    Oh and perhaps you wouldn't mind finding out for us which lobbyists spurred the report you cite for your thread?

    Regulations even tighter than the EPA's then? Did you not note that the FDA regs are very nearly the same as the EPA and IBWA's are tighter than the FDA's? So if California's are tighter than the IBWA's then they are probably even tighter than the supposed gold standard set by the EPA.
     
  21. Jul 9, 2009 #20

    cristo

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    I remember that.. it lasted for a couple of weeks! I was amazed when I was offered a bottle of Dasani in the US when I asked for a bottle of water. It seems like people over there don't mind paying a few dollars for a bottle of tap water! Needless to say, I didn't!
     
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