The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overstated the purity of the nation's drinking water in four recent years, potentially leaving millions of people at risk, according to a new report.
From 1999 through 2002, the EPA announced that it met its goal that 91 percent of U.S. residents have access to safe tap water. But the data the EPA used to make those conclusions were "flawed and incomplete" because states did not report all violations to the federal agency, stated a report released this week by Kwai Chan, the EPA's assistant inspector general.
Originally posted by marg6043
I will keep my bottle water, you know why, because I do not trust the test done on the drinking water in my nation that comes out from the EPA a system that have been broken for many years.
In many studies drinking water is polluted.
In fact, says Kellett, not only does tap water often taste the same as bottled water, but it is also often safer to drink as well. "They are spending tens of millions of dollars every year to undermine our confidence in tap water," she says, "even though water systems here in the United States are better regulated than bottled water." That's because tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which imposes strict limits on chemicals and bacteria, constant testing by government agencies, and mandatory notification to the public in the event of contamination.
Bottled water, on the other hand, is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which according to federal law is technically required to hold itself to the same standards as the EPA. The devil is in the details, however, since FDA regulations only apply to water that is bottled and transported between states, leaving out the two-thirds of water that is solely transported within states. State laws, meanwhile, are inconsistent, with some mirroring the FDA standards, some going beyond them and some falling far short of the national regulations. What's more, FDA regulations rely on companies to do their own testing, and perform voluntary recalls if products are found to be in violation of standards (if a company fails to do so, the Justice Department can order a seizure of products).
A 1999 study by the National Resources Defense Council of more than 1,000 bottles of water found that, while most bottled water was safe, some brands violated strict state standards on bacterial contamination, while others were found to contain harmful chemicals such as arsenic. The report concluded that bottled water was no safer than water taken from the tap.
A review of fluoride toxicity showed decreased fertility in most animal species studied. The current study was to see whether fluoride would also affect human birth rates. A U.S. database of drinking water systems was used to identify index counties with water systems reporting fluoride levels of at least 3 ppm. These and adjacent counties were grouped in 30 regions spread over 9 states. For each county, two conceptionally different exposure measures were defined, and the annual total fertility rate (TFR) for women in the age range 10-49 yr was calculated for the period 1970-1988. For each region separately, the annual TFR was regressed on the fluoride measure and sociodemographic covariables. Most regions showed an association of decreasing TFR with increasing fluoride levels. Meta-analysis of the region-specific results confirmed that the combined result was a negative TFR/fluoride association with a consensus combined p value of .0002-.0004, depending on the analytical scenario. There is no evidence that this outcome resulted from selection bias, inaccurate data, or improper analytical methods. However, the study is one that used population means rather than data on individual women. Whether or not the fluoride effect on the fertility rate found at the county level also applies to individual women remains to be investigated.
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of bone fracture, including hip fracture, in six Chinese populations with water fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.25 to 7.97 parts per million (ppm). A total of 8266 male and female subjects > or =50 years of age were enrolled. Parameters evaluated included fluoride exposure, prevalence of bone fractures, demographics, medical history, physical activity, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption. The results confirmed that drinking water was the only major source of fluoride exposure in the study populations. A U-shaped pattern was detected for the relationship between the prevalence of bone fracture and water fluoride level. The prevalence of overall bone fracture was lowest in the population of 1.00-1.06 ppm fluoride in drinking water, which was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of the groups exposed to water fluoride levels > or =4.32 and < or =0.34 ppm. The prevalence of hip fractures was highest in the group with the highest water fluoride (4.32-7.97 ppm). The value is significantly higher than the population with 1.00-1.06 ppm water fluoride, which had the lowest prevalence rate. It is concluded that long-term fluoride exposure from drinking water containing > or =4.32 ppm increases the risk of overall fractures as well as hip fractures. Water fluoride levels at 1.00-1.06 ppm decrease the risk of overall fractures relative to negligible fluoride in water; however, there does not appear to be similar protective benefits for the risk of hip fractures.
As part of the longitudinal Iowa Fluoride Study, subjects were followed from birth to 36 months with questionnaires every 3-4 months to gather information on fluoride intake from various sources. Daily fluoride intake in mg per kg body weight (BW) was estimated from water, beverages and selected foods, fluoride supplements and dentifrice. Six hundred and twenty-eight subjects were examined for fluorosis on permanent incisors and first molars at about age 9 by two calibrated examiners using the Fluorosis Risk Index categories. Fluorosis prevalence rates were determined separately for maxillary central incisors and first molars by levels of estimated fluoride intake. There were significant positive associations between fluorosis prevalence and levels of fluoride intake. Cumulatively from birth to 36 months, average daily intake of 0.04 mg F/kg BW or less carried relatively low risk for fluorosis (12.9% for maxillary central incisors, 6.8% for first molars). Average daily intake of 0.04-0.06 mg F/kg BW showed a significantly elevated risk for fluorosis (23.0% for maxillary central incisors, 14.5% for first molars), while fluorosis risk was even higher for average intake above 0.06 mg F/kg BW (38.0% for maxillary central incisors, 32.4% for first molars). The study suggests that fluorosis prevalence is related to elevated fluoride intake when averaged over the first 3 years of life, but is even more strongly related to fluoride intake that is elevated for all of the first 3 years of life.
Age-specific and age-standardized rates (ASR) of registered cancers for nine communities in the U.S.A. (21.8 million inhabitants, mainly white) were obtained from IARC data (1978-82, 1983-87, 1988-92). The percentage of people supplied with "optimally" fluoridated drinking water (FD) obtained from the Fluoridation Census 1985, U.S.A. were used for regression analysis of incidence rates of cancers at thirty six sites (ICD-WHO, 1957). About two-thirds of sites of the body (ICD) were associated positively with FD, but negative associations were noted for lip cancer, melanoma of the skin, and cancers of the prostate and thyroid gland. In digestive organs the stomach showed only limited and small intestine no significant link. However, cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon and rectum, hepato-biliary and urinary organs were positively associated with FD. This was also the case for bone cancers in male, in line with results of rat experiments. Brain tumors and T-cell system Hodgkin's disease, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma of the skin and monocytic leukaemia were also correlated with FD. Of the 36 sites, 23 were positively significant (63.9%), 9 not significant (25.0%) and 4 negatively significant (11.1%). This may indicate a complexity of mechanisms of action of fluoride in the body, especially in view of the coexising positive and negative correlations with the fluoridation index. The likelihood of fluoride acting as a genetic cause of cancer requires consideration.
The NRC committee’s reevaluation of EPA’s MCLG for fluoride in drinking
water failed to identify a safe level of fluoride in drinking water. This failure can
be attributed to misdirection by EPA of the intended goal of the effort. When the
committee requested and received a change in its mandate from evaluating the
MCL to the MCLG, EPA strangely omitted the key scientific criteria necessary for
evaluating this standard. The committee should have been told to look for health
effects that “can be reasonably anticipated, even though not proved to exist.” As a
result of this omission, the NRC panel focused only on end points that were totally
certain and concluded that the current standard of 4 mg/L did not protect against
bone fractures and severe dental fluorosis. For the first time in history, a
committee of the NRC removed severe dental fluorosis from the benign category
of cosmetic effects and added it to the list of adverse health effects. In addition,
Stage II skeletal fluorosis was added to the list, but the committee was unable to
state with absolute certainty that this was occurring at the current EPA standards.
This review applied the necessary criteria to some but not all of the adverse
health effects discussed in the NRC report. The results are as follows:
1 Moderate dental fluorosis is an adverse health effect occurring at fluoride levels
of 0.7–1.2 mg/L, the levels of water fluoridation.
2 The Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) for bone fractures is at
least as low as 1.5 mg/L and may be lower than this figure.
3 Stage II and Stage III skeletal fluorosis may be occurring at levels less than 2
4 Stage I skeletal fluorosis, (arthritis, clinically manifested as pain and stiffness in
joints) is an adverse health effect which may be occurring with a daily fluoride
intake of 1.42 mg/day, which is less than the amount the average person
already obtains in their diet in non-fluoridated areas. The Maximum
Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) should be zero.
5 Decreased thyroid function is an adverse health effect, particularly to individuals
with inadequate dietary iodine. These individuals could be affected with a daily
fluoride dose of 0.7 mg/day (for a “standard man”). Since this is less than the
amount already in the diet, the MCLG should be zero.
6 Fluoride has adverse effects on the brain, especially in combination with
aluminum. Seriously detrimental effects are known to occur in animals at a
fluoride level of 0.3 mg/L in conjunction with aluminum. The goal for this effect
should also be zero.
Bottled Water is not necessarily healthier
Bottle water is FDA-regulated as a food product whereas tap water is EPA-regulated.
FDA regulations are not necessarily stricter (e.g. FDA does not require testing for coliform bacteria; requires listing of additives but not contaminants).
1⁄4 of bottled water is reprocessed tap water (e.g. Aquafina & Dasani).
National Resource Defense Council 1999 and Consumer Reports 2000 studies both concluded that bottled water is not necessarily safer.
There have been 11 major bottled water recalls since 1990 for chemical contamination and high fecal coliform counts.(69)
Consumer Reports Study Aug. 2000(1):
Some exceed the EPA's proposed standards (5ppb, yr. 2000) for arsenic, and a few exceed guidelines for bacterial levels, indicative of "spotty sanitation."
The major taste differences stem from the type of plastic used to make the bottle, PET vs. HDPE.
Bisphenol-A (known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor) leaches into water from polycarbonate containers.
Originally posted by apc
I keep a one month supply of Always Save (the cheapest available) 3gallon jugs in rotation. The label reads: reverse osmosis, microfiltration, ozonation.
This water reads 3 PPM.
The tap water in my pipes reads 280 PPM. Letting it run, it settles around 240.
That's not a huge number, but the difference is enough to keep me sucking from the jugs.