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Article | April 30, 1999
Bottled water labeling
Bottled water may be safe, but the environmental activist group Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned FDA to set strict limits for a wide variety of contaminants in bottled water and to require bottled water labels to disclose contaminants.
An NRDC test of nearly 1 samples of 103 brands of bottled water found one-third of the brands failed to meet industry or state purity standards though most were of good quality and none of the samples posed a health concern. Some 22% of the samples exceeded California's limits for arsenic and carcinogenic synthetic organic compounds. The NRDC wants the contaminant limits to match those of California or the federal standards for tap water. With increases in consumer consumption of bottled water hitting double digits each year NRDC is concerned that consumers are being misled by marketing claims. While not addressing the specifics of the NRDC's report FDA reiterated that "bottled water poses no significant public health risk and is therefore safe to consume." The Intl. Bottled Water Assn. noted the report's conclusion that most of the water tested was of good quality and none raised health concerns. According to IBWA there have been no confirmed reports of illness or disease associated with drinking bottled water in 37 years.
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