The popularity of bottled water continues to grow, despite what we know about plastics and their harmful effects on our planet and our health. Because of convenience and perceived safety, bottled water is the go-to drink for many Americans. Now, there is concerning information about troubling levels of arsenic in bottled water. In a recent Consumer Reports study, 11 brands of bottled water were tested. Of those, six had arsenic levels above 3 parts per billion (ppb), which is the level public health experts say is safe. The brands included Starkey (owned by Whole Foods), Crystal Geyser, Alpine Spring Water, Volvic, and others.
The federal bottled water standard for arsenic is 10 ppb. Some individual states, such as New Jersey, have set their arsenic threshold at 5 ppb. One of the brands tested, Penafiel, showed arsenic levels as high as 17 ppb. And, while some brands tested lower than 10, there is some debate about whether or not any amount of arsenic in drinking water is safe.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring heavy metal that can cause disease and negatively affect child development. According to the FDA, ongoing exposure to small doses of arsenic can cause cardiovascular disease, cancer, and brain development issues in children. In a 2014 study conducted by Columbia University, it was found that arsenic levels of 5 ppb or higher in a child’s household could be associated with a 5-6 point reduction in IQ compared to children with lower arsenic levels in their water supply.
Bottled water companies do have the option of eliminating arsenic from their water during treatment. However, many will only treat to the current regulatory threshold of 10 ppb. Health experts say this is not nearly enough to guarantee public safety and are advocating for new regulations that limit arsenic to 3 ppb.
To know that your water is completely safe and arsenic free, King Water Filtration recommends a full, in-home filtration system that is capable of removing the arsenic that may be in your water supply.