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High Levels of Arsenic Found in Bottled Water Sold at Target, Walmart, & Whole Foods

High Levels of Arsenic Found in Bottled Water Sold at Target, Walmart, & Whole Foods

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced this week that high levels of arsenic was discovered in bottled waters bottled by two bottling companies.

The bottle companies distribute these bottled waters to major retailers including Target, Walmart and Whole Foods. Buyers opt for bottled water versus tap water, not only for the taste but for safety for most. The cost of bottled water is greater but for most buyers, protecting their family’s health outweighs the price difference.

 

“Consumers are being needlessly exposed to arsenic without their knowledge or consent,” said Michael Green, Chief Executive Officer of CEH. “Customers typically purchase bottled water at exorbitantly high costs with the assumption that it is safer and healthier to drink than tap water, unaware that they are ingesting an extremely toxic metal linked to birth defects and cancer.”

 

The CEH released that through independent testing done by the CEH, high levels of arsenic was found in the two prominent water brands. Arsenic is a metal which can cause cancer, reproductive harm, birth defects, can affect mental and physical development in children. Water high in Arsenic can cause an increased risk in heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

 

The CEH also describes the metal as an “endocrine disrupting chemicals” with even small doses wreaking havoc on the human’s hormone system.

Acute arsenic poisoning can include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Severe cases lead to nerve damage or brain damage, such as memory loss, dementia, or seizures.

 

Legal notices were sent to both manufacturers and retailers of Starkey Water, owned by Whole Foods, and Peñafiel, owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, which is bottled in Mexico and sold at Target and Walmart. Prop 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, states that water brand containing a specific amount of arsenic must place health warnings on their labels. To date, neither company has done so.

 

The CEH said that Penafiel has known for years that their product contains elevated levels of arsenic but have not taken action to resolve the problem and/or notify consumers. Whole Foods describing itself as “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store”, they have continued to carry Starkey Water despite multiple discoveries of elevated arsenic levels in recent years. Still, no warning labels have been added to the product they carry.

 

“There is no place for arsenic in bottled water,” said Caroline Cox, Senior Scientist at CEH. “Bottled water companies need to take the necessary steps to remove this toxic metal from their products, and retailers should stop selling them now. Until those conditions are met, we recommend consumers avoid purchasing Whole Foods’ Starkey and Dr Pepper’s Penafiel.”



 

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