A recent study conducted in China by Nanjing University and the University of Florida (Effects of storage temperature and duration on release of antimony and bisphenol A from polyethylene terephthalate drinking water bottles of China) misrepresents bottled water and incorrectly infers it to be potentially unsafe.
The study was conducted in China, not the United States. The samples were Chinese brands, manufactured in China, and not sold in the U.S. The reported findings are well below the threshold of any regulatory standard and lead researcher Dr. Lena Ma states that they are not a cause for concern and that bottled water is safe to drink.
Bottled Water is Safe
Bottled water is a safe and healthy choice when it comes to packaged beverages. Consumers choose bottled water for many reasons, including its refreshing taste, reliable quality, zero calories and additives, and convenience. And for many, bottled water is a vital alternative to other packaged beverages, which are often less healthy.
Certain consumers may also require reliable access to bottled water due to medical issues, such as compromised immune systems, allergies, cancer, or other significant health conditions. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals with compromised immune systems drink bottled water.
PET Plastic and BPA
PET plastic bottles, commonly small, portable 16.9 (half-liter) and 24 ounce sizes, are safe and reliable for food contact use. PET is used in a variety of packaging for many foods, including everything from peanut butter, soft drinks, and juices to beer, wine, and spirits. PET is approved as safe for food and beverage contact by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar regulatory agencies throughout the world, and has been for over 30 years.
BPA it is not a chemical component of PET. Regulatory agencies in several countries and the FDA have ruled favorably on the safety of BPA. The consensus among these international regulatory agencies is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging does not pose a health risk.
As with the BPA findings, the level of antimony (Sb) found in the samples was minimal and well below the FDA’s health-based regulatory limit of 6 parts per billion (ppb). In fact, even when exposed to the highest temperature applied in the study, the concentrations of antimony found in the water were only 0.02 – 2.6 ppb. These results are consistent with previous studies that have repeatedly demonstrated the migration of antimony from PET bottles into beverages to be less than 6 ppb – well below FDA, World Health Organization (WHO), and European Health Safety Authority (EFSA) regulations. In most cases, antimony is not even detected in migration tests using protocols that represent common “real world” conditions.
Regulation of Bottled Water
In the United States, bottled water is comprehensively regulated by the FDA as a packaged food product. By federal law, the FDA regulations governing the safety and quality of bottled water must be at least as stringent as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for tap water. And, in some very important cases like lead, coliform bacteria, and E. coli, bottled water regulations are substantially more stringent.
Please visit www.bottledwater.org to get the facts about bottled water.