Fluoride in Bottled Water: 5 Brands to Avoid
Fluoride in water has been a hot-button issue over the past decade, especially after the publication of a Harvard study suggesting fluoride’s role in neurological problems, and another study discrediting fluoride’s benefits against tooth decay. Since the release of these two polemic findings, communities across America have fought for the right to drink non-fluoridated municipal water and to lower the reporting level for fluoride toxicity.
However, fluoridated municipal water makes up just one part of the issue. Bottled waters, many of them household names, contain fluoride levels that go far and beyond the recommended safe intake. Here are the top five.
1. Ice Mountain
Ice Mountain comes from Nestlé, a company that, after being outed for monopolizing Toronto groundwater, has gained a reputation for exploiting sources.
Nestlé has gone lengths to rebuild its image as a water supplier, however, leaving no exception for product quality. The company currently posts water quality reports on its website and includes fluoride in their measurements. Ice Mountain supposedly contains “undetectable” levels of fluoride, but this is only in relation to the EPA’s minimum reporting levels of 0.1 milligrams per liter (mg/l).
In fact, the posted numbers tell us little about actual fluoride levels. Nestlé draws its water from wells, springs, and municipal sources, which means that natural and artificial fluoride could be sparse or abundant, depending on location.
2. Poland Springs
As one of America’s leading bottled water suppliers, it is no surprise that Nestlé owns Poland Springs water, as well. According to its water safety report, Poland Springs, like Ice Mountain, contains sub-detectable levels of fluoride.
Nonetheless, Nestlé uses the same sourcing and purification methods for this brand as it does, Ice Mountain. Again, there is no telling how much lower or higher the average deviates from more extreme – and possibly more harmful – samples.
3. Crystal Springs
DS Services, a less well-known enterprise, is responsible for bottling Crystal Springs water. They, too, provide mineral information about their product, but it remains just as misleading as the numbers provided by their competitor.
More questionably, the company uses a reporting level far higher than that provided by the EPA, establishing minimums at .130 mg/l. Consumption averages above this level, especially over the long term, could bring serious illness to customers.
Once a small-name bottler, Ozarka water has recently come under Nesté ownership. Therefore, it too has a quality report available online. Unsurprisingly, it goes without saying that this report tells only half-truths about Ozarka’s fluoride content.
Keeping with its form, Nestlé sources and purifies Ozarka in the same manner as it does, its other brands. In so doing, Nestlé maintains the same risk of drawing from sources too high in natural or artificial fluoride, putting certain markets at risk for fluoride toxicity.
5. Puritan Springs
Offering no insight to its fluoride content, Puritan Springs raises some major red flags. These become even more prevalent when bringing the brand’s fluoridated variety into question, as it could bring American fluoride consumption – especially in cities with excessive natural fluoride – to dangerous levels.
Furthermore, Puritan Springs comes from the same branding resource Coffee-Mate, Bigelow Tea, and other popular brands. More likely than not, it, too, makes the water component of some – if not all – of these drinks’ pre-bottled beverages. As such, it puts more than just plain water into the fluoride safety spotlight.
Efforts against fluoridated water have made strides in recent years. Nonetheless, they often ignore the “safe” water that lines supermarket shelves. Luckily, as with most oversights, awareness, and education can change this trend.
“Printable List of Bottled Water Containing Fluoride.” RealFarmacy. REAL Farmacy, n.d. url: http://realfarmacy.com/printable-list-of-bottled-water-containing-fluoride/.
DS Services of America. “Water Quality Report.” crystal-springs. DS Services of America, n.d. url: https://www.crystal-springs.com/files/nonbrand/waterqualityreports/Fluoridated_Spring_Water_Quality_Report_022417.pdf
Nestle Waters. “Ice Mountain: Bottled Water Quality Report.” nestle-watersna. Nestle Waters North America, n.d. url: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/asset-library/Documents/IM_BWQR.pdf
Nestle Waters. “Ozarka: Bottled Water Quality Report.” nestle-watersna. Nestle Waters North America, n.d. url: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/asset-library/Documents/O_ENG.pdf
Nestle Waters. “Poland Spring: Bottled Water Quality Report.” nestle-watersna. Nestle Waters North America, n.d. url: https://www.nestle-watersna.com/asset-library/Documents/PS_ENG.pdf