(CNN)The Food and Drug Administration has issued a final rule that throws water on claims that antibacterial soaps and washes are more effective than regular soap.

The new rule bans antibacterial soaps and body washes containing certain ingredients from being marketed, because the ingredients were not proved to be safe and effective for long-term daily use, the FDA said Friday.

The rule applies to antibacterial soaps and washes that contain one or more of 19 active ingredients, including the most commonly used chemicals triclosan and triclocarban, but it does not affect consumer hand sanitizers or antibacterial wipes.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a written announcement.

“In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term,” she added.

Companies will have one year to either remove the ingredients or no longer market their products before the final rule is effective.

The American Cleaning Institute released a statement in response in which it indicated that the FDA had data showing the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps. Manufacturers plan to provide additional science and research to fill any data gaps, according to the statement.

“In the coming year, ACI and its member companies will submit additional safety and effectiveness data on the key ingredients in use in consumer antibacterial soaps today: benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol.

Consumers can continue to use antibacterial soaps with confidence as they have for decades in millions of homes, offices, schools, daycare centers and other commercial settings,” said the statement by the American Cleaning Institute, a trade organization that represents the producers of cleaning products.

The FDA issued a proposed rule in 2013 that required the manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to prove that their products were more effective than plain soap and were safe for long-term use.

However, “antibacterial hand and body wash manufacturers did not provide the necessary data to establish safety and effectiveness,” according to the FDA’s new final rule. The FDA even noted that some manufacturers have started to remove certain active ingredients from their products.

What does the science say about antibacterial soaps? A 2007 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that using triclosan-containing consumer soaps seemed to not offer an additional health benefit over using regular soap and water.

Rather, regularly using such antibacterial consumer soaps may be linked to the growth of dangerous drug-resistant bacteria, according to the paper.

“Those who are out washing with it in the community think they’re doing a good health measure when, in fact, they aren’t,” said Dr. Stuart Levy, professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and a co-author of the paper.
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So, the new FDA rule “seems like a prudent step to prevent a possible, albeit theoretical, future adverse impact, and since the public still has the option of using hand sanitizers, which work faster and better than the current consumer ‘antibacterial’ soaps, I can be supportive of the ruling,” said Elaine Larson, associate dean for research at Columbia University School of Nursing and a co-author of the paper.

For the paper, researchers reviewed 27 studies on the potential hazards versus benefits of antibacterial soaps. The researchers concluded, “Further studies of this issue are encouraged.”

“This whole issue of antibiotics, where they do good and they don’t do good, has not been explained well enough to the public, but I think it can be now,” said Levy, who conducted some of the earliest studies on antibiotic resistance. “We sort of led the cause to eliminate the use of triclosan in washes, because quite honestly, it didn’t show any improvement.”

From CNN article dated Friday, September 2, 2016

Findings could have implications for children’s health, well-being

Boston, MA – More than half of all children and adolescents in the U.S. are not getting enough hydration—probably because they’re not drinking enough water—a situation that could have significant repercussions for their physical health and their cognitive and emotional functioning, according to the first national study of its kind from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study also found racial/ethnic and gender gaps in hydration status. Black children and adolescents were at higher risk of inadequate hydration than whites; boys were at higher risk than girls.

The study appears online June 11, 2015 in the American Journal of Public Health.

“These findings are significant because they highlight a potential health issue that has not been given a whole lot of attention in the past,” said lead author Erica Kenney, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan School. “Even though for most of these kids this is not an immediate, dramatic health threat, this is an issue that could really be reducing quality of life and well-being for many, many children and youth.”

Drinking enough water is essential for physiological processes such as circulation, metabolism, temperature regulation, and waste removal. Although excessive dehydration is associated with serious health problems, even mild dehydration can cause issues, including headaches, irritability, poorer physical performance, and reduced cognitive functioning.

The researchers looked at data from 2009-2012 on more than 4,000 children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a study of the health of U.S. children and adults conducted each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They used urine osmolality—a measure of how concentrated a person’s urine is—to determine whether or not participants were adequately hydrated.

They found that a little more than half of all children and adolescents weren’t getting enough hydration. Boys were 76% more likely than girls, and non-Hispanic blacks were 34% more likely than non-Hispanic whites, to be inadequately hydrated.

Notably, nearly a quarter of the children and adolescents in the study reported drinking no plain water at all.

“The good news is that this is a public health problem with a simple solution,” said senior author Steven Gortmaker, professor of the practice of health sociology. “If we can focus on helping children drink more water—a low-cost, no-calorie beverage—we can improve their hydration status, which may allow many children to feel better throughout the day and do better in school.”

Other Harvard Chan School authors of the study included Angie Cradock, senior research scientist and deputy director of the Harvard Prevention Research Center, and research fellow Michael Long.

This study was supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 1U48DP001946 (including the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Prevention Research Centers Program and a grant in memory of Melvin R. Seiden.

“Prevalence of Inadequate Hydration among US Children and Disparities by Gender and Race/Ethnicity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012,” Erica L. Kenney, Michael W. Long, Angie L. Cradock, Steven L. Gortmaker, American Journal of Public Health, online June 11, 2015, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302572.

Posted on: Harvard.edu

Heart Attacks and Water
How many folks do you know who say they don’t want to drink anything before going to bed because they’ll have to get up during the night?

The journey to a healthy body starts upon your healing regimen of following this water regimen by including hydrogen rich Travel Water in every glass of water you drink.

Tips from a Cardiac Specialist:

  • Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body
  • 2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
  • 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
  • 1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
  • 1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack

Dr. Virend Somers is a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic, who is lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Add one(1) full squeeze of Travel Water every time you drink water. One full bottle will last you a week.

If you experience detox, don’t take any medication for restoring usual discharge. Your urine discharge will change in color from bright yellow to almost clear when you finish the entire first bottle.

You will experience deep sleep and achieve REM. You will regain your lost energy because you will regain your lost cellular hydration.

Be sure to use filtered tap water or any bottled spring water as it contains the minerals that Travel Water requires to conduct electricity to create the antioxidant negative ion. RO water and distilled water will reduce the efficiency of Travel Water.

Enjoy your new energetic, happy, and pleasurable days to come.

Hydrogen-Rich-Water-Plants

Watered with Travel Water (Left)

We performed a little experiment with our household plants. The plants had identical:
age, soil, container, organic fertilizer, exposure to light. The only difference is that we watered one with tap water, and the other with tap water mixed with hydrogen rich Travel Water drops.

The difference in healthy between the two plants is significant as seen in the photo. This is because Travel Water when mixed with tap water breaks down water molecules into smaller clusters which allow for better hydration. In addition, the hydrogen rich water delivers anti-oxidants that help reduce oxidation.

BOTTLED WATER IS BETTER THAN TAP.

Not necessarily. While labels gush about bottled water that “begins as snowflakes” or flows from “deep inside lush green volcanoes,” between 25 and 40 percent of bottled water comes from a less exotic source: U.S. municipal water supplies. (Bottling companies buy the water and filter it, and some add minerals.) That’s not really a bad thing: The Environmental Protection Agency oversees municipal water quality, while the Food and Drug Administration monitors bottled water; in some cases, EPA codes are more stringent. (source: WebMD)

PURIFIED WATER TASTES BETTER.

The “purest” water — distilled water with all minerals and salts removed — tastes flat; it’s the sodium, calcium, magnesium, and chlorides that give water its flavor. The “off” taste of tap water is the chlorine; if you refrigerate it in a container with a loose-fitting lid, the chlorine taste will be gone overnight. (source: WebMD)

BOTTLED WATER WITH VITAMINS, MINERALS, OR PROTEIN IS MORE HEALTHY THAN REGULAR WATER.

“Vitamins, color, herbs, protein, and all the other additions to water — those are a marketing ploy,” says Marion Nestle, Ph.D., professor of nutrition studies at New York University. Plus, the additives are usually a scant serving of the vitamins you really need in a day, adds Amy Subar, Ph.D., a nutritionist with the National Cancer Institute. Enhanced waters usually contain sugars and artificial flavorings to sweeten the deal and can pack more calories than diet soda. When it comes to providing fluoride, tap water usually wins, though that element is increasingly being added to bottled waters. (source: WebMD)

YOU NEED EIGHT 8-OUNCE GLASSES OF WATER EACH DAY.

The Institute of Medicine recommends about 91 ounces (a little more than 11 8-ounce glasses) of fluid daily for women. But here’s the thing: It expects 80 percent of that to come from water, juice, coffee, tea, or other beverages and the remaining 20 percent from food. That means if you drink a 12-ounce cup of coffee and a 12-ounce can of diet soda, you only need 48 more ounces (three 16-ounce glasses, or four soda cans’ worth) for the day. (source: WebMD)

AFTER AN INTENSE WORKOUT, BOTTLED WATER IS BEST.

There’s a reason volunteers hand out electrolyte water during marathons. If your workout lasts longer than an hour, you need to replace the water and electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, that you’ve lost (that’s what sports drinks generally do). (source: WebMD)

Athletes add Travel Water Extreme Hydration drops to boost hydration by more than four times regular water and to get an added dose of anti-oxidants.

WATER BOTTLES ARE EASY ON THE ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE THEY CAN BE RECYCLED.

Wouldn’t it be nice? And it’s not just the bottles. Eco-costs include manufacturing, trucking, shelving, and marketing. And meeting the annual U.S. demand for plastic bottles requires enough oil to keep 100,000 cars on the road for a year, says Janet Larsen of the Earth Policy Institute. Sure, the 70 million empty water bottles the U.S. produces per day can be recycled, but the sad truth is, about 86 percent of them end up in the trash. Hardly worth it, for what flows out of the tap and into a reusable glass for free. (source: WebMD)

We tested Zico Coconut Water and Trade Joes Coconut water to see if these super drinks have anti-oxidant properties. What we found is surprising.

We used two ORP meters to measure each coconut water.

In the world that surrounds us, we do not see it, but there is a continuous exchange of electrons that takes place between substances in the air, in the earth, in water, and in our bodies. This phenomenon is known as ion exchange.

In an effort to reach a state of stability, substances that are lacking electrons are desperately seeking out electrons wherever they can: these substances are referred to as oxidizing agents. On the contrary, substances which have a surplus of electrons are capable of donating their extra electrons: these substances are referred to as reducing agents, or anti-oxidizing agents.

Oxidation-reduction potential, or ORP, is a measurement that indicates the degree to which a substance is capable of oxidizing or reducing another substance. ORP is measured in millivolts (mv) using an ORP meter.

A positive ORP reading indicates that a substance is an oxidizing agent. The higher the reading, the more oxidizing it is. As such, a substance with an ORP reading of +400 mv is 4 times more oxidizing than a substance with an ORP reading of +100 mv.

A negative ORP reading indicates that a substance is a reducing agent. The lower the reading, the more anti-oxidizing it is. As such, a substance with an ORP reading of -400 mv is 4 times more anti-oxidizing than a substance with an ORP reading of -100 mv.

Zico Coconut Water Antioxidant

We found these readings:
Zico Coconut Water is a free radical at +194 and Trader Joes is a free radical at +108. It’s also important to note that Trader Joes Coconut Water is acidic at 6.59 pH.

We added Travel Water drops to each of the coconut waters and we noted the following readings:
Zico Coconut Water at -084 ORP and Trader Joes Coconut Water at 39+ ORP a significant reduction in free radicals.

Zico_Coconut_Water

Prevent hangovers and give your body prime hydration. All with Travel Water.

Travel Water is the anti-oxidant liquid drops that you can add to every drink or dish to prevent a hangover and help your overall health. Sound like a miracle? That’s because it is.

How does it work exactly? Science. Like we all learned in biology, oxidation is bad. Especially for our cells. Travel Water drops contain electrically charged water that binds to oxidants. And lower cell oxidation means healthier cells.

But wait—why does healthier cells mean no hangovers? Simple. Hydration. Travel Water drops break down water molecules into smaller clusters, allowing for water to pass through cell walls easily.

Whether you’re out to a bar on a Friday night or having a few drinks at home, Travel Water eases the effects of a hangover, giving you a better (and more bearable) tomorrow.

Preventing hangovers isn’t Travel Water’s only benefit. In fact, it also promotes weight loss and overall health. Coupled with a healthy balance of foods in your diet, you’re on your way to your best and healthiest you. Strong is beautiful.

Consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants—like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds—will help aid long-term results for weight loss. But what if instead of jam packing your diet with an overload of fruits and vegetables, you could use a simple additive like Travel Water?

Let’s be clear—we are not encouraging the elimination of fruits and vegetables, but rather, adding a supplement that will only help your journey to a healthier you. The food with the most antioxidants are also those that have qualities that help weight loss.

And, as always, physical exercise is important to building a stronger and healthier body.

Written by: Eliza

It is time we recognize that when it comes to sanitation and safety, what really matters most is what we put inside our bodies. Sometimes we get distracted on keeping the external part of ourselves clean that we neglect the importance of internal contamination which has more detrimental consequences to our health. We need to be more aware of the importance of what we choose to eat and drink which can nourish or damage our body
and well being.

The fruits and vegetables we eat usually contains sanitizing solutions such as chlorinated compounds and organic acids. Studies have proven that washing them with tap water is not enough to completely wash the pesticide residues away. These disinfectants have negative environmental effect and produce long term harmful health effects. Studies have shown that chlorine-based sanitizers can form potentially harmful disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes, which could also be carcinogens. Animal laboratory experiments has shown these DBPs can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems. This is an alarming concern that lead researchers to consider electrolyzed water as a more safe, relatively less expensive and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional disinfectants used in the food industry.

Here are some great examples to show how effective electrolyzed water can be in the food industry. One study showed that electrolyzed water could eliminate the most commonly used pesticides which includes – Acephate, Omethoate and Dimethyl Dichloroviny Phosphate (DDVP). This study was done using spinach, cabbage and leeks which all showed that the level of pesticide residue decreased with prolonged immersion in electrolyzed water. After 30 minutes of immersing the vegetables in electrolyzed water, the acephate residues decreased to 74-86%, the omethoate residues was minimized to 62-75% and the DDVP residues was eliminated by 60%. Numerous similar studies have concluded that electrolyte water is efficacious in eliminating the residues of pesticides.

Even better is that studies demonstrated that adding electrolyzed water did not alter the Vitamin C and nutrient content of the vegetables and fruits in the process. Other similar researches was done using tomatoes, alfalfa seeds, sprout, cucumber and strawberry which consistently showed the same positive results.

The electrolyzed water works by combining a high available chlorine concentration and a high positive oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). The effect of electrolyzed water on pathogens was documented using a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) that allows us to get a high resolution image of the molecular structures. It showed that when the pathogens were exposed to electrolyzed water their outer walls become wrinkled and their
internal components change thus making the pathogens easier to penetrate and kill.

Many studies have been done showing time and again the effectiveness of electrolyzed water against numerous food-borne pathogens. The use of electrolyzed water to wash the fruits and vegetables is a proven and powerful way of getting rid of the pesticide residues in your food and ensuring it is safe to consume.

Now it is up to us to care and do something about about what we put inside our body. One way is by simply washing our food with electrolyzed water we could be rest assured that there wont be any significant pesticide residues and bacterial pathogens in them.

Written by: Karina Del Mundo

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;12:CD007411. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007411.pub3. Epub 2014 Dec 15.
Antioxidants for male subfertility.
Showell MG1, Mackenzie-Proctor R, Brown J, Yazdani A, Stankiewicz MT, Hart RJ.

BACKGROUND:
Between 30% to 80% of male subfertility cases are considered to be due to the damaging effects of oxidative stress on sperm and 1 man in 20 will be affected by subfertility. Antioxidants are widely available and inexpensive when compared to other fertility treatments and many men are already using these to improve their fertility. It is thought that oral supplementation with antioxidants may improve sperm quality by reducing oxidative stress. Pentoxifylline, a drug that acts like an antioxidant, was also included in this review.

OBJECTIVES:
This Cochrane review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of oral supplementation with antioxidants for subfertile male partners in couples seeking fertility assistance.

SEARCH METHODS:
We searched the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and AMED databases (from inception until January 2014); trial registers; sources of unpublished literature and reference lists. An updated search was run in August 2014 when potentially eligible studies were placed in ‘Studies awaiting assessment’.

SELECTION CRITERIA:
We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing any type or dose of antioxidant supplement (single or combined) taken by the subfertile male partner of a couple seeking fertility assistance with a placebo, no treatment or another antioxidant.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:
Two review authors independently selected eligible studies, extracted the data and assessed the risk of bias of the included studies. The primary review outcome was live birth; secondary outcomes included clinical pregnancy rates, adverse events, sperm DNA fragmentation, sperm motility and concentration. Data were combined, where appropriate, to calculate pooled odds ratios (ORs) or mean differences (MD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Statistical heterogeneity was assessed using the I(2) statistic. We assessed the overall quality of the evidence for the main outcomes using GRADE methods.

MAIN RESULTS:
This updated review included 48 RCTs that compared single and combined antioxidants with placebo, no treatment or another antioxidant in a population of 4179 subfertile men. The duration of the trials ranged from 3 to 26 weeks with follow up ranging from 3 weeks to 2 years. The men were aged from 20 to 52 years. Most of the men enrolled in these trials had low total sperm motility and sperm concentration. One study enrolled men after varicocelectomy, one enrolled men with a varicocoele, and one recruited men with chronic prostatitis. Three trials enrolled men who, as a couple, were undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and one trial enrolled men who were part of a couple undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI). Funding sources were stated by 15 trials. Four of these trials stated that funding was from a commercial source and the remaining 11 obtained funding through non-commercial avenues or university grants. Thirty-three trials did not report any funding sources.A limitation of this review was that in a sense we had included two different groups of trials, those that reported on the use of antioxidants and the effect on live birth and clinical pregnancy, and a second group that reported on sperm parameters as their primary outcome and had no intention of reporting the primary outcomes of this review. We included 25 trials reporting on sperm parameters and only three of these reported on live birth or clinical pregnancy. Other limitations included poor reporting of study methods, imprecision, the small number of trials providing usable data, the small sample size of many of the included studies and the lack of adverse events reporting. The evidence was graded as ‘very low’ to ‘low’. The data were current to 31 January 2014.Live birth: antioxidants may have increased live birth rates (OR 4.21, 95% CI 2.08 to 8.51, P< 0.0001, 4 RCTs, 277 men, I(2) = 0%, low quality evidence). This suggests that if the chance of a live birth following placebo or no treatment is assumed to be 5%, the chance following the use of antioxidants is estimated to be between 10% and 31%. However, this result was based on only 44 live births from a total of 277 couples in four small studies.Clinical pregnancy rate: antioxidants may have increased clinical pregnancy rates (OR 3.43, 95% CI 1.92 to 6.11, P < 0.0001, 7 RCTs, 522 men, I(2) = 0%, low quality evidence). This suggests that if the chance of clinical pregnancy following placebo or no treatment is assumed to be 6%, the chance following the use of antioxidants is estimated at between 11% and 28%. However, there were only seven small studies in this analysis and the quality of the evidence was rated as low.Miscarriage: only three trials reported on this outcome and the event rate was very low. There was insufficient evidence to show whether there was a difference in miscarriage rates between the antioxidant and placebo or no treatment groups (OR 1.74, 95% CI 0.40 to 7.60, P = 0.46, 3 RCTs, 247 men, I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence). The findings suggest that in a population of subfertile men with an expected miscarriage rate of 2%, use of an antioxidant would result in the risk of a miscarriage lying between 1% and 13%.Gastrointestinal upsets: there was insufficient evidence to show whether there was a difference in gastrointestinal upsets when antioxidants were compared to placebo or no treatment as the event rate was very low (OR 1.60, 95% CI 0.47 to 5.50, P = 0.46, 6 RCTs, 429 men, I(2) = 0%).We were unable to draw any conclusions from the antioxidant versus antioxidant comparison as not enough trials compared the same interventions. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is low quality evidence from only four small randomised controlled trials suggesting that antioxidant supplementation in subfertile males may improve live birth rates for couples attending fertility clinics. Low quality evidence suggests that clinical pregnancy rates may increase. There is no evidence of increased risk of miscarriage but this is uncertain as the evidence is of very low quality. Data were lacking on other adverse effects. Further large well-designed randomised placebo-controlled trials are needed to clarify these results. Update of Antioxidants for male subfertility. [Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011] PMID: 25504418 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Article from: NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Is bottled water actually unsafe?
Could the plastic in water bottles pose a health risk?
How can I find out where my bottled water comes from?
How can I determine if bottled water is really just tap water?
What action can I take to improve bottled water safety?
How does drinking bottled water affect the environment?
If I drink tap water should I use a filter and what types of filters are most effective?
How can I obtain test results on my tap water?

1. Isn’t bottled water safer than tap water?
No, not necessarily. NRDC conducted a four-year review of the bottled water industry and the safety standards that govern it, including a comparison of national bottled water rules with national tap water rules, and independent testing of over 1,000 bottles of water. Our conclusion is that there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap. And in fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle — sometimes further treated, sometimes not.

2. Is bottled water actually unsafe?
Most bottled water appears to be safe. Of the bottles we tested, the majority proved to be high quality and relatively free of contaminants. The quality of some brands was spotty, however, and such products may pose a health risk, primarily for people with weakened immune systems (such as the frail elderly, some infants, transplant and cancer patients, or people with HIV/AIDS). About 22 percent of the brands we tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits. If consumed over a long period of time, some of these contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems.

3. Could the plastic in water bottles pose a health risk?
Recent research suggests that there could be cause for concern, and that the issue should be studied closely. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles contained phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap water, there are no legal limits for phthalates in bottled water — the bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.

4. How can I find out where my bottled water comes from?
A few state bottled water programs (e.g., Massachusetts and New York) maintain lists of the sources of bottled water, but many do not. Try calling or writing the bottler to ask what the source is, or call the bottled water program in your state or the state in which the water was bottled to see if they have a record of the source (your state’s health or agriculture department is most likely to run the bottled water program). If you choose to buy bottled water and are concerned about its safety, buy brands with a known protected source and ones that make readily available testing and treatment information that shows high water quality.

5. How can I determine if bottled water is really just tap water?
Often it’s not easy. First, carefully check the bottle label and even the cap — if it says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system” this means it’s derived from tap water. Again, you can call the bottler, or the bottled water program in your state or the state where it was packaged.

6. What actions can I take to improve bottled water safety?
Write to your members of Congress, the FDA, and your governor (see below for contact information) and urge them to adopt strict requirements for bottled water safety, labeling, and public disclosure. Specifically, point out to these officials that they should:
set strict limits for contaminants of concern in bottled water, including arsenic, heterotrophic-plate-count bacteria, E. coli and other parasites and pathogens, and synthetic organic chemicals such as “phthalates”; apply the rules to all bottled water whether carbonated or not and whether sold intrastate or interstate; and require bottlers to display information on their labels about the levels of contaminants of concern found in the water, the water’s exact source, how it’s been treated, and whether it meets health criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control for killing parasites like cryptosporidium.

Members of Congress and governors should also pass legislation providing the resources for the FDA and state regulators to actually enforce the law.

To take further action, you can encourage your bottlers and the International Bottled Water Association (a trade organization that includes about 85 percent of water bottlers) to voluntarily make labeling disclosures such as those above.

Contact information:
FDA
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

Congress/State Legislators
Go to our action center to find contact information for your members of Congress and state legislators.

7. How does drinking bottled water affect the environment?
In 2006, the equivalent of 2 billion half-liter bottles of water were shipped to U.S. ports, creating thousands of tons of global warming pollution and other air pollution. In New York City alone, the transportation of bottled water from western Europe released an estimated 3,800 tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere. In California, 18 million gallons of bottled water were shipped in from Fiji in 2006, producing about 2,500 tons of global warming pollution.

And while the bottles come from far away, most of them end up close to home — in a landfill. Most bottled water comes in recyclable PET plastic bottles, but only about 13 percent of the bottles we use get recycled. In 2005, 2 million tons of plastic water bottles ended up clogging landfills instead of getting recycled.

8. If I drink tap water should I use a filter and what types of filters are most effective?
The real long-term solution is to make tap water safe for everyone. However, if you know you have a tap water quality or taste problem, or want to take extra precautions, you should purchase filters certified by NSF International (800 NSF-MARK). These filters designate which contaminants they remove, and you can look for one that removes any contaminants of special concern such as cryptosporidium. Such certification is not necessarily a safety guarantee, but it is better than no certification at all. It is critically important that all filters be maintained and replaced at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer, or they might make the problem worse. See our guide to water filters for more information.

9. How can I obtain test results on my tap water?
Under new “right-to-know” provisions in the drinking water law, all tap water suppliers must provide annual water quality reports to their customers. To obtain a copy, call your water provider (the one that sends your water bills).

You also can test your water yourself, though this can be expensive. There are state-certified drinking water laboratories in virtually every state that can test your water. Call your state drinking water program or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800 426-4791) for a list of contacts. Standard consumer test packages are available through large commercial labs at a relatively reasonable price.

Based on BOTTLED WATER: Pure Drink or Pure Hype? a March 1999 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.