Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bottled Mineral Water. Healthy or Not? Discover the Truth

Let me tell you a story about a guy who considered mineral water healthy. He thought that the best thing in the world he could drink was a particular brand of natural mineral water H20.
He also happened to work at a treatment facility in North Carolina. He wanted to show everyone how pure his beverages were and why he considered his pricey mineral water healthy.

Now, this particular brand of so-called natural mineral water H20 does come from a spring in the south of France and is naturally carbonated. It contains calcium, chloride, bicarbonate, fluoride, magnesium, nitrate, potassium, sodium and sulfates. The total level of "dissolved solids" is 475 milligrams per liter, very close to the maximum suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Most brands of natural mineral water H20 do not come from a spring and the mineral content is usually limited to one or two elements, typically potassium. They use ion exchange or another method to alter the water’s natural content and "enhance" the flavor. Sometimes, this is a good thing. Sometimes, it is not.

One particular brand of natural mineral water H20 contains high levels of manganese. That’s an element that has upper advisory limits for consumption, set down by the nutritional guidelines of the US Department of Agriculture, because, at high levels, it can cause liver and kidney dysfunction. Yet, the company considers their mineral water healthy and recommends it for a variety of health problems. But, let me get back to my story.

So, using the tests developed by the EPA, those that he used in the treatment facility to test the waters before they were sent to the public, he checked to see what he would find in his natural mineral water H20. Once again, he was sure that he would find his mineral water healthy and he was going to use the results as an example for the other employees.

"This is true purity," he might have said, before the results showed high levels of an organic chemical compound known as benzene. Benzene pollution is a problem throughout the world. It is used in the manufacture of a variety of products, including plastics, rubber and drugs. It occurs naturally in crude oil, so it is not considered a synthetic chemical, but a volatile organic compound or VOC.

Thinking that the test must have somehow gone awry, he tried another bottle. The results were the same. Hoping that it was merely one affected lot, he went out and looked for a bottle that had a different lot number and tested that one.

Again, the results were the same. He called up a friend in Georgia, who confirmed his findings. It looked as if he could no longer consider his mineral water healthy, since consuming benzene causes a number of health problems including vomiting and dizziness. If enough is consumed, it can even cause death.

The EPA sets the maximum level for benzene contamination at 5 parts per billion. The levels that they found in the bottles of natural mineral water H20 ranged from 12.3 to 19.9.
People consider mineral water healthy largely because of advertising hype.
SOme people said the best choice for drinking purposes is to install a filtration system on your kitchen tap that uses ion exchange to remove the toxic metal lead and replace it with healthy potassium then the water will taste better and be better for your health. But the choice is in your hand.

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