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Bottled Water Debate Splashes Congress

Sept. 10, 2008 — Natural and shopper groups are urging closer examination of bottled water. The groups say Americans are wasting billions of dollars whereas causing environmental damage — and adding few health benefits.

The calls come as Congress begins to consider stricter names that caution shoppers around the source and potential natural impact of the products.

“The public should not accept that water obtained in a bottle is way better directed, more immaculate, or more secure than most tap water,” says Mae Wu, an attorney with the Characteristic Assets Defense Board.

Wu and others made their comments to lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Slope.

Near to 40% of bottled water sold within the U.S. comes from metropolitan sources, the same place tap water comes from. Wu says nearly all open tap water is sifted before it’s dispersed to homes and businesses.

Wenonah Hauter, who heads the consumer group Nourishment and Water Observe, says a gallon of bottled water can cost between $8 and $10 in some areas — twice the cost of gasoline.

“Particularly today, with the downturn within the economy, individuals have only so many dollars to spend at the grocery store. And if they’re spending that money on bottled water instead of perhaps fruit or vegetables for their family, then we think that’s probably not the finest decision,” she says.

Cities and Tap Water

Some cities have stood up to concerns over the safety of their water supply. One is Washington, D.C., which moved to replace thousands of feet of water channels after high lead levels were detected in city water.

But other cities have arranged campaigns to promote tap water utilization and steer inhabitants away from bottled water, which city authorities say can be a burden to nearby squander administration authorities.

Modern York City as of late completed a nearly $1 million exertion advancing the tall quality of the city’s water supply, which is one of a handful within the nation that does not require treatment to meet government wellbeing guidelines. The city gave out 50,000 reusable water bottles to residents.

“One of the goals of the campaign was to address the myth that tap water is by one means or another not as secure or alluring as bottled water or sweetened beverages,” says Emily Lloyd, commissioner of the Modern York City’s Division of Natural Protection.

Stephen Edberg, PhD, a water analyst and professor of pharmaceutical at Yale University, told legislators bottled water postures some points of interest over neighborhood tap water.

“It’s fixed, and that’s it. Nothing else happens,” he says. Tap water, on the other hand, can be subject to “extraordinary variability” as it moves from the source to treatment facilities to homes, he says.

Edberg said bottled water can be an advantage for individuals with compromised resistant frameworks, including cancer patients, those taking a few arthritis drugs, and patients with HIV.

Sen. Straight to the point Lautenberg, D-N.J., presented a bill Wednesday requiring water bottle names to carry information about the quality and source of the water interior. “Customers have a right to know,” he says.

Perspective of Bottled Water Industry

Joseph Doss, who heads the Universal Bottled Water Association, says his industry is venturing up efforts to encourage plastics recycling and to form bottle production more fuel proficient. Water bottles account for 0.3% of all solid waste created in the U.S., according to the industry.

“Any activities that would debilitate buyers from drinking this safe, healthy refreshment are not within the public interest,” he says.

Americans spend about $11 billion per year on bottled water, agreeing to the Refreshment Promoting Corp. In the process they help produce 2.7 million tons of plastic bottles. Those bottles are created and transported using petroleum, and most wind up in landfills, Wu says.

Doss says bottled water is as of now closely controlled as a nourishment item by the FDA.

“I guess it comes down to choice, and customers have a choice,” he says.

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