Consumer Reports released results of an investigation into arsenic levels in bottled water, late last week.
Whole Foods, as well as a handful of other brands, have been called out for having arsenic levels in their bottled waters high enough to cause damage if drank regularly.
According to the World Health Organization, arsenic is a naturally occurring element of the Earth’s crust that gets distributed throughout the environment in the air, water, and land. When there is a dangerous amount found in water, it can lead to problems like skin lesions and cancer. Companies producing bottled water are supposed to remove arsenic from the water before distributing it, yet despite the existence of technology that can do so, CR found that out of the 130 bottled-water brands 11 contained detectable amounts of arsenic.
To meet the federal limit, levels of arsenic found in water should be 10 parts per billion. CR is reporting that recent research suggests that arsenic is “potentially dangerous” if regularly ingested at levels of 3 parts per billion. The brands that self-reported, or were found through CR’s testing, to have levels at or above 3 ppb, include:
- Peñafiel (the company reported it found an average arsenic level of 17 ppb)
- The Whole Foods’ brand of water, Starkey (9.8 ppb)
- Crystal Creamery (5 ppb)
- Volvic (4 ppb)
- Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water (3.8 ppb)
- EarthH20 (3 ppb)
The grocery chain Whole Foods issued a statement to CR emphasizing that they would “never sell products that do not meet FDA requirements.”
The company administered an internal analysis of its water and said the tests “show these products are fully compliant with FDA standards for heavy metals.” Whole Foods added that it tests “every production run of water before it is sold.”
Also published on Medium.