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"Natural" bottled water has natural arsenic contamination, testing finds



 Water can pick up arsenic from geological, agricultural, or industrial sources.
Enlarge / Water can pick up arsenic from geological, agricultural, or industrial sources.

The worst offenders in the report were Starkey, a brand owned by Whole Foods and marketed as water in its "natural state".

Several brands of bottled water contain levels of arsenic contamination. , "And Peñafiel, owned by Keurig Dr Pepper and imported from Mexico.

Samples of Peñafiel tested by CR had arsenic levels that averaged 18.1 parts per billion, well above the federal allowable limit of 10ppb set by the Food and Drug Administration. Testing of Whole Foods' Starkey Water revealed levels at or just below the federal limits, with results ranging from 9.48 ppb to 10.1 ppb.

Arsenic is a trace element in rock and sediment and can contaminate groundwater naturally from geological sources or from human activities, such as mining and run-off from agricultural and industrial sources. Long-term exposure to high-level arsenic is associated with skin disorders and increased risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response to CR findings, Keurig Dr Pepper announced that it had suspended bottled water production at its Mexico facility and would revamp its filtration. Whole Foods, on the other hand, said that it had run its own tests on batches of water that CR tested and determined that levels were acceptable. The company's test results "show these products are fully compliant with FDA standards for heavy metals," Whole Foods told CR in a statement. It added that it tests "every production run of water before it is sold" and that the company would "never sell products that do not meet FDA requirements."

However, this is not the first time Starkey Water has run into issues With arsenic from late 2016 to early 2017, Starkey recalled 2,000 cases of water over arsenic levels above the federal threshold.

Is 10ppb too high?

Additionally, some public health experts and researchers say that federal thresholds are too high New Jersey, for example, sets the maximum allowable arsenic level in tap water at 5ppb. But the Garden State still goes to federal 10ppb limit for bottled water. [19659004] Scientists hired by CR recommend that the regulators cut the threshold down to 3ppb. In their analysis of 130 bottled waters, CR found six brands that had levels at or above 3ppb. In addition to Starkey and Peñafiel, these brands are Crystal Geyser Al Pine Spring Water (3.8ppb), Danone's Volvic (4ppb), and two regional brands, Crystal Creamery (5ppb) and EartH₂O (3ppb).

One of the reasons is that water is just one source of arsenic exposure in daily life. As a naturally occurring element in soil, it can be found in plants, air, and food. Advocates have also expressed concern about levels of arsenic in fruit juices and rice-based baby food. (Rice plants are particularly good at sucking arsenic and other elements, such as mercury, out of the soil.)

Given its natural sources, avoiding arsenic can be difficult in some instances, but the multibillion-dollar bottled water industry in the United Ana Navas-Acien, professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, asked, "If you have an arsenic in the water," Ana Navas-Acien asked. CR "There should be plenty of opportunities for treatment and remediation."


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