Arsenic water bottles recall — After high arsenic levels were found in the water bottles, Keurig Dr Pepper has recalled the bottled water it sells at Target and Walmart.
Many people buy bottled water at a higher price, assuming it is healthier, cleaner and safer than tap water, but new consumer reports reveal that water in a Bottle is not really a better choice.
The California Center for Environmental Health on Tuesday released an independent finding of high levels of arsenic — a toxic metal that can harm reproduction, cancer, and cause birth defects — in two well-known brands of bottled water.
The CEH sent legal opinions to manufacturers and retailers of Starkey Water, owned by Whole Foods, and Peñafiel, owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, bottled in Mexico and sold at Target and Walmart.
In California, under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Substances Act, these two brands of bottled water contain enough arsenic to be required to carry a warning label, which neither of the two brands have.
“There is no room for arsenic in bottled water,” said Caroline Cox, senior scientist at CEH. “Bottled water companies must take the necessary steps to eliminate this toxic metal from their products, and retailers should stop selling them now. Until these conditions are met, we recommend that consumers avoid buying Starkey and Dr Pepper’s Penafiel products from Whole Foods.”
Just two months ago, similar research was published that revealed high levels of arsenic in the same two brands of bottled water.
This is not the first time that Starkey and Peñafiel have had problems with the arsenic content of their water bottles.
Starkey Water needed more than 2,000 cases of bottled water between 2016 and 2017, as its arsenic content exceeded the level acceptable by the federal government, 10 parts per billion. Whole Foods conducted its own internal tests a year later and found that arsenic levels were barely below the federal limit, but this level of arsenic can still be extremely harmful if ingested regularly.
Peñafiel and the Food and Drug Administration reported that the brand of bottled water contained dangerous levels of arsenic, but none of them were ever recalled. Recent Consumer Reports tests have shown that arsenic levels were about double the federal legal limit.
Arsenic is a heavy metal that acts as a carcinogen, which can wreak havoc on the human body. Even small amounts of arsenic ingestion can cause big problems; a small dose of arsenic greatly disrupts the body’s endocrine system, which regulates hormone production and secretion.
Prolonged ingestion of arsenic via contaminated water can cause bodily injury as arsenic inactivates up to 200 enzymes responsible for things like DNA synthesis and repair.
Initial symptoms of acute arsenic poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea; they can in some cases cause nerve damage or brain damage, such as memory loss, dementia or seizure.
With arsenic, heavy metal accumulates in the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, muscles, nervous system, gastrointestinal system and spleen, causing multisystemic disease. In the worst stages, chronic arsenic toxicity leads to malignant cancer of the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys and bladder.
Children are much more susceptible to the toxicity of arsenic, which can affect mental and physical development as they grow older. This can lead to lower IQ and poor performance at school.
“It makes no sense that consumers can buy bottled water that is less safe than tap water,” said James Dickerson, Ph.D., Scientific Director of Consumer Reports. “In any case, bottled water — a product for which people pay extra, often because they think it is safer — should be regulated at least as strictly as tap water.”