What is Water Bottled?
Bottled water is drinking water that is sealed in a food grade bottle or container. It may be filtered, carbonated, or come from springs or aquifers. Regardless of the source, it is regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration and the International Bottled Water Association.
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In the United States, the FDA classifies bottled water into different classifications based on source and treatment. These include well water, mineral water, sparkling mineral water, and artesian water. Each of these categories has its own set of regulations, including the number of fluoride minerals permitted in the water.
Generally speaking, bottled water is safe and healthy for consumers. However, there are some risks involved with drinking bottled water. This includes contaminants that can affect the taste, health, and even the environment. To prevent contamination, the EPA requires manufacturers to report any contaminated products to the public, and the agency must notify the public of any recalls.
A contaminated bottle of water can result in gastrointestinal illness, neurological disorders, and reproductive problems. These symptoms are more likely to occur in children and pregnant women, as well as the elderly. People with weakened immune systems also are at higher risk.
When choosing bottled water, it is best to look for companies that use recyclable packaging, or are green. Ideally, it should be calorie free, or at least contain no sweeteners. If it is flavored, the flavors must be comprised of less than 1% of the total weight of the final product. Also, bottled water that is sourced from a clean, aquifer or spring will be healthier than that from a municipal supply.
Choosing bottled water isn’t a simple decision, however. Although bottled water is usually safe and sanitary, its source and the process it undergoes can make a difference. The EPA has established maximum contaminant levels. Some of the chemicals that are commonly found in tap water, such as chlorine, are also present in bottled water.
While the environmental impacts of bottled water are not fully understood, the industry has committed to reducing its carbon footprint. In fact, a growing number of bottled water companies are carbon neutral certified. They also contribute part of their revenues to environmental projects.
In the United States, bottled water accounts for 0.08% of all emissions. According to a study published by the Beverage Marketing Corporation, it can be expected that bottled water will reach 108 billion gallons in the year 2020. Additionally, the bottled water industry is on the forefront of using alternative packaging materials and supporting biodegradable plastics.
One of the best ways to find out more about bottled water is to check out the FDA’s website. There, you can learn more about the various water classifications and the water treatment methods. Unlike many other packaged beverages, bottled water is relatively eco-friendly.
In addition to its health benefits, bottled water can also provide convenience. Companies that specialize in delivering bottled water to your home or business can deliver water to you every week or month, depending on your preferences.