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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

New Study Finds PFAS in Bottled Water, as Lawmakers Call for Federal Limits

June 17, 20121 - from Consumer Reports:

"'Purified' bottled water was less likely than 'spring' water to contain the potentially dangerous compounds"

"Some noncarbonated bottled water products sold in the U.S. and tested as part of a new study contained potentially toxic PFAS chemicals, prompting calls for the federal government to set standards covering the chemicals."

"The study, published in the journal Water Research and led by Johns Hopkins University researchers, detected PFAS substances in 39 out of more than 100 bottled waters tested, in some cases at levels deemed concerning by water quality experts."

"The study did not identify which brands were tested. But the researchers did find that bottled waters labeled as “purified,” which are typically filtered through reverse osmosis, contained less PFAS overall than “spring” water, which is not filtered using that method. "

"PFAS is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a chemical class that includes approximately 5,000 compounds that have been linked to cancer and learning delays in children. Used in numerous consumer products, the compounds are known as “forever chemicals” because the bonds that hold PFAS together don’t break down easily in the environment."

"The new research follows an investigation published last year by Consumer Reports that found PFAS in several noncarbonated and carbonated bottled waters, including popular brands such as Topo Chico Mineral Water. After the publication of CR’s test results, Topo Chico manufacturer Coca-Cola upgraded its filtration systems, which reduced the level of PFAS in the product."

"The Food and Drug Administration—which regulates bottled water in the U.S.—has not yet set limits on PFAS in bottled water. An FDA spokesperson says the agency is reviewing the study. But, the spokesperson said, the agency 'believes that establishing a standard of quality for PFAS in bottled water at the time would not significantly enhance the FDA’s mission of public health protection.' "

"The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates tap water, also has yet to set standards regarding PFAS, but it has issued voluntary guidance calling on water utilities to limit the presence of PFAS to 70 parts per trillion. Some scientists believe a much lower limit of 1 ppt is appropriate."

"Overall, 19 brands tested in the Water Research study contained more than 1 ppt of PFAS."

"The International Bottled Water Association, a trade group that represents numerous bottled water manufacturers, has PFAS standards in place that its members must adhere to: no more than 5 ppt for any single PFAS compound, and a total of 10 ppt for more than one. "

"Jill Culora, spokesperson for the IBWA, says the vast majority of brands tested by the Johns Hopkins researchers contained PFAS results “well below” her organization’s standard of 5 ppt for one PFAS. Three samples exceeded the IBWA’s combined limit of 10 ppt. "

"One key takeaway from the new study is that bottled waters labeled as “purified” contained “significantly less PFAS” than spring water products, according to the study, which the researchers attributed to the use of treatment techniques such as reverse osmosis."

"If consumers are concerned about the presence of PFAS in bottled water, they should look for products that have been processed using treatments such as reverse osmosis. Purified bottled water is generally treated this way."

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