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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Tap or bottle it?

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Clean water is one of the most important needs for the human body.

It keeps the anatomy hydrated and dispenses toxic waste stored in your system.

Many consumers choose to drink tap water because it’s free of cost, proven to be convenient and helps preserve the environment from excessive and wasteful plastic.

Although tap water has proven to be accommodating, experts say it can be harmful to the body.

“Any contaminants in tap water can provide some adverse effects on the body if consumed for a long period of time,” said Erin Light, fitness and health specialist of Clarian Bariatric Center.

Next to tap water, bottled water has also been proven to contain harmful toxins and contaminants such as cryptosporidium that can cause diarrhea and cramps, legionella that has been linked to pneumonia among others.

Bottled water’s popularity is decreasing mostly because of suspicions over water quality.

Unlike tap water, bottled water is considered a food product and is subject to the same sanitation preparation requirements as other foods. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disagrees.

EPA recently conducted a survey of 25 water-bottling facilities and found none of the companies never had a complete analysis of their water. The survey also found bacteriological surveillance was inadequate and eight percent of the water tested showed evidence of some bacteria.

A new federal legislation has been implemented for bottle water facilities to place labels of what is included in the water.

“People tout bottled water as this pure substance that’s trickling from clear mountain springs, when in fact, that may not be the case,” said California State Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) in a recent statement. “When I pick up bottled water, I want to know it truly is something that’s good for me and better for me than drinking something else.”

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) believes the proposed bill is not needed.

According to Stephen Clay, a spokesman for IBWA, “There are already comprehensive, stringent regulations in place at the federal level for quality labeling; the proposed bill is proscriptive and redundant.”

Light recommends consumers check their water supplier if they choose to drink tap water so they know what’s in their water.

“I personally recommend using a water filter for tap water which is more precautious,” said Light. “There are benefits to both tap and bottled water, but you must use precaution either way.”

Although bottled water sales has increased 45 percent since 2002, studies have also found labels did not correspond with the contents revealed by chemical analysis. Traces of harmful electrolytes, mercury, lead, chloramines among other chemicals and deadly bacteria have been found in bottled water.

In conjunction, there are 35,000 pesticides containing 600 chemical compounds found in tap water. However, municipal water systems are only required to test for six. Many of these harmful chemicals are known to cause birth defects, nerve damage, sterility and cancer.

Experts say the best possible solution consumers can do is to purchase a water filter such as a Brita pitcher or Pur water tap that will filter tap water directly. The prices range from $20-$50.

“Whether you choose tap or bottled water, make sure you are knowledgeable of what you are putting in your body,” said Light.

For more information about the new proposed bill or water filtration, visit www.epa.gov.

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