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Images of mountain springs, rivers and even glaciers from the Artic are splashed all over the place in advertising campaigns for bottled water. It all looks so fresh and healthy. This leads consumers to believe that we’re buying a product that is much purer than tap water. Beware. Here are reasons you should skip the bottled water:

1. Testing commissioned by Environmental Working Group found 38 pollutants in 10 brands of bottled water, including disinfection byproducts, industrial chemicals, radioactivity and bacteria. Some of the chemicals detected have been linked to health effects, including cancer and methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome). Two of the brands tested even bore the chemical signature of municipal tap water, meaning that they were chemically indistinguishable from what comes from the faucet.

SkippingBottledWater2. In 2008, scientists at Texas Southern University evaluated 35 brands of bottled water and found that four were contaminated with bacteria. In 1999, the Natural Resources Defense Council tested 103 bottled waters and detected potentially worrisome contaminants, including microbes and regulated chemicals, in about half.

3. Shoppers who seek the convenience and ready availability of bottled water may believe that the plastic bottle itself is inert, completely safe packaging. That’s probably not true.

An Environmental Working Group investigation found that PET plastics, the type used to make plastic water bottles and marked with a #1 code on the bottom, contain dozens of chemical additives, manufacturing impurities and breakdown byproducts – a total of more than 80 potential contaminants that can leach into the water.

4. Think all plastic bottles get recycled? Think again. According to EPA, we recycle about 30% of our PET plastic bottles. This means that about 70% of them end up elsewhere, including beaches and the ocean, polluting sensitive ecosystems.

Oceana, an international organization focused on ocean conservation, has calculated that as much as 1.6 billion pounds of plastic ends up in the seas every year, posing a threat to marine life. The Plastic Pollution Coalition has been raising awareness about the disgusting Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but the problem continues to grow – thanks in part to the continuing popularity of bottled water.

5. Bottled water costs on average 1,900 times the cost of tap water.

Drinking plenty of clean water is good for your health, but both tap and bottled water can contain contaminants that may be harmful. The best bet for getting the safest water possible is to filter your tap water. Do you research and buy a good filter for your water along with a reusable water bottle.