WASHINGTON (September 10, 2008) – The bottled water that millions of Americans drink each day is allowed to contain higher levels of a toxic chemical associated with birth defects and cancer than tap water, according to a bottled water expert from the Natural Resources Defense Council who will testify in the Senate today.
In her testimony before the subcommittee responsible for drinking water quality, NRDC attorney Mae Wu will stress that Americans have the right to know what toxic chemicals and other contaminants are in their bottled water. Currently water utilities are required to report annually to customers about the contaminants they have tested for and whether any health standards have been violated. There is no such requirement for bottled water.
“The public should not assume that water purchased in a bottle is better regulated, more pure, or safer than most tap water. Water utilities are required to tell the public more about their tap water than bottled water companies are. We need better standards and stronger reporting requirements for bottled water. Everyone deserves safe and affordable drinking water. The best way to get there is to invest in our tap water systems, not turn to bottled water,” Wu said.
The hearing, before the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security, and Water Quality, is scheduled for 3:00 in Dirksen 406. To read Wu’s complete testimony, go to http://docs.nrdc.org/water/wat_08091001A.pdf