Over 24,000 Chemicals In Bottled Water: Which Ones Are Harming You?
German researchers have discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), that
could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18
different bottled water products(1).
Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled
water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic
and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine
disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system, they can
cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic
disorders and as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders(1).
This study comes from Martin Wagner and Jorg Oehlmann of the Goethe University
Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlusener and Thomas Ternes of the
German Federal Institute of Hydrology. They determined that bottled water could
contain serious amounts of EDCs that should be a cause from concern.
Researchers used spectrometric simulation to narrow down their findings to DEHF
as the only possible EDC giving rise to harmful activity. DEHF is also known as
an anti-estrogenic compound, which means that another unidentified EDC must be
present in the samples that showed anti-androgenic activity.
The authors employed a sensitive in vitro bioassay to characterize the total
estrogenic burden leaching from plastics, including potential mixture effects
and unidentified EDCs. Using a similar approach, a series of studies reported a
widespread estrogenic contamination of commercially available bottled water.
Here, we combine biological and chemical analysis to identify putative steroid
receptor antagonists in bottled water. Most of the products were potently
antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic in the bioassays. Nontarget high-resolution
mass spectrometry pointed towards maleate and fumarate isomers as promising
candidates and subsequently enabled the identification of di(2-ethylhexyl)
Because its concentration is too low to explain the observed activity, other
compounds must contribute. However, further maleate/fumarate isomers are not
only biologically active but structurally highly similar to phthalates. Hence,
we speculate these compounds might represent a novel, so far overlooked group of
An increasing number of in vitro studies reports the presence of EDCs in bottled
water. With previous studies focusing on estrogenicity, the present work
provides evidence for an additional contamination with steroid receptor
antagonists. We detected antiestrogens and antiandrogens in the majority of
analyzed bottled water products. Moreover, the antagonist activity was very
potent. An equivalent of 3.75 ml bottled water inhibited estrogen and androgen
receptor by up to 60 and 90 percent. Bottled water from six different countries
has been found to contain estrogenic, antiestrogenic, as well as androgenic,
progestagenic, and glucocorticoid-like chemicals. This demonstrates that a
popular beverage is contaminated with diverse-acting EDCs(1).
What Can You Do?
The answer is simple, don’t drink bottled water! Apart from that, you can
purchase water filters that take out the chlorine and fluoride from your water
if you choose, they aren’t that hard to find and if you do your research you can
find some fairly inexpensive ones. If you’re interested, shoot us anemail and
we can help you out in your search. 24,000 chemicals is a lot of chemicals to be
putting into your body. I’m not saying all of them are harmful, but who would
want to take that chance? It’s not uncommon for us to taste some of these
chemicals within the water that come from the plastic, especially if you leave
the bottle in the sun for a short period of time.
Here is a very informative video that shares a lot more of what needs to be
known about bottled water: