Are you concerned about the chemicals in your bottled water? You should be. In September 2020, Consumer Reports found that numerous carbonated water brands contained measurable levels of PFAS chemicals. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been linked to adverse health problems.
The Consumer Reports identified measurable levels of PFAS chemicals in over 40 bottled water brands. The study revealed that over 40 sparkling water brands, especially Coca-Cola brand Topo Chico, had significantly higher levels of toxic chemicals than still water.
While further research is needed to determine the full extent of the risks posed by PFAS chemicals, there is evidence that they may be linked to cancer and other health issues. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC routinely update legal reports and recalls affecting consumers.
Our legal team advocates for victims harmed by defective products, including bottled water containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Are you suffering chemical-related health problems and believe your exposure to PFAS might be responsible for your injuries? Contact our product liability attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What are PFAS Chemicals?
PFAS chemicals are a health hazard and can contaminate the environment, including food and water supplies. The more than 5000 PFAS fluorinated chemicals are not biodegradable, meaning they can remain in the environment for long periods.
Governments and large corporations have been manufacturing PFAS for years, exposing communities to harmful levels in their municipal drinking water and bottled water.
PFAS are manufactured chemicals using various consumer products, including:
- Water-repellent fabrics
- Food packaging
- Cleaning products
- Stain-resistant clothing
- Household products
- Nonstick cookware
- Fire-fighting foams
PFAS have also been used in industrial applications, such as in producing semiconductors and printing inks.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies the group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as “forever chemicals” due to their longevity of staying in the human body or environment for an extended time.
PFAS are harmful to human health because they can interfere with the body’s ability to produce hormones. PFAS has also been linked to cancer, infertility, and other health problems.
The best way to avoid exposure to PFAS is to limit your use of products that contain them, including tap water and bottled water. You can also avoid eating food and drinking water that may be contaminated with PFAS.
The Consumer Reports study identified vital factors involving PFAS chemicals that include:
- PFAS chemicals are a health hazard and can contaminate the environment, including water supplies
- There is no safe level of exposure to PFAS chemicals
- PFAS found in many everyday products has been linked with cancer, thyroid disease, weakened immune systems, and other serious health problems
- Many companies are phasing out PFAS chemicals.
The Consumer Reports study also showed that sparkling waters had higher PFAS chemical levels than still water among popular still and sparkling water brands, likely due to the carbonation process, source water, or insufficient filtration system.
Strict PFAS Level Standards and Other Criteria
The federal regulation for PFAS health risks limits chemical levels to below 70 parts per trillion. However, some state regulatory agencies throughout the US determine an average level of between 12 to 20 ppt.
International Bottled Water Association Standards
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and environmental groups recommend more stringent standards with limits of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid levels to 5 ppt to 10 ppt.
International Bottled Water Association members must manufacture and distribute products tested on more stringent standards than the Environmental Protection Agency recommendations for sparkling and still bottled water.
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit organization, recommends that limits for PFAS toxic chemicals in drinking water be set at 5-10 parts per trillion. The organization says that this limit is necessary to protect public health, particularly the health of vulnerable populations like pregnant women and young children.
The NRDC also recommends that companies phase out the use of PFAS toxins in their products.
The organization also recommends using a carbon filter to remove toxic PFAS from drinking water. A carbon filter can effectively remove PFAS from water by trapping them in the filter media.
Harming Human Health
Potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure are a significant concern for many. A growing body of evidence suggests that these chemicals may harm human health. But what is the extent of the danger?
Exposure to high levels of PFAS has resulted in severe medical conditions that could have been prevented. Victims of PFAS exposure may experience adverse health effects, including:
- Eczema and atopic dermatitis
- Fertility problems
- Liver tumors
- Immune suppression
- Thyroid hormone disruption
- Delayed vaccine antibody response
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Delayed mammary gland development
- Ulcerative colitis
- Testicular cancer
- Birth defects
- Childhood developmental issues.
PFAS are particularly dangerous because they do not break down in the environment and can build up in the bodies of people and animals over time. Consuming products with elevated levels of PFAS could result in severe medical conditions that develop relatively quickly.
As a result, it is crucial to avoid exposure to toxic man-made chemicals as much as possible.
Known Products with High PFAS Levels
There are numerous ways to avoid many brands of still and sparkling water products PFAS and using filtered drinking water in bottles and aluminum cans for regular consumption.
The Consumer Reports study findings on bottled water identified beverages with the highest and lowest PFAS levels, including:
HIGH PFAS LEVELS CARBONATED (SPARKLING) WATER BRANDS
- Coca-Cola’s Topo Chico Natural Sparkling Mineral Water
- Polar Natural Seltzer Water
- Bubly Blackberry Sparkling Water
- Poland Spring Zesty Lime Sparkling Water
- Canada Dry Lemon Lime Sparkling Seltzer Water
- LaCroix Natural Sparkling Water
- Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water
HIGH PFAS LEVELS IN STILL DRINKING WATER
- Deer Park Natural Spring Water
- Tourmaline Spring Sacred Living Water
Coca-Cola responded to the Consumer Reports study revealing Topo Chico mineral water test results showing the product had the highest PFAS levels.
The bottling company reported upgrading its bottling filtration system, ensuring “the continued safety and quality of Topo Chico into the future.” Only future testing will determine if their newly upgraded filtrating system is effective at reducing toxic levels of PFAS that far surpass government regulation standards.
Top Alternatives with an Appropriate Limit in Products Tested for PFAS Levels
Consumer Reports revealed the best alternatives of sparkling water and still bottled water based on lower limits of PFAS levels of below one ppt (parts per trillion). The top alternatives for still and sparkling waters based on stringent standards include:
- San Pellegrino Sparkling Water
- Spindrift Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water
- Sparkling Ice Sparkling Water
- Schweppes Lemon Lime Sparkling Water
- Dasani Sparkling Water by the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company
- Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Spring Water Brands
- Poland Spring Natural Sparkling Water Brand
- Aquafina Still and Sparkling Waters by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company
The Consumer Reports study revealed high levels of arsenic in Starkey Spring Water in the carbonated water brands sold at Whole Foods.
Some consumers are avoiding the problems of the carbonation process by using Soda Stream with tap water. However, reports have found high PFAS levels in municipally supplied water in communities with insufficient drinking water standards in its source water.
Some test results show that water source treatments to remove PFAS has not always been effective.
What Those Exposed to PFAS Who Have Been Injured Can Do
You can talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have. If you have been injured due to exposure to PFAS toxic chemicals, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
You must prove the four elements of civil tort law to resolve your claim, including:
- The bottling company (defendant) owed the victim (plaintiff) a duty of care
- The bottling company breached that duty
- The victim was injured as a result of the breach
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the injury that is provable in court, if necessary
What Compensation Might Be Available
The victims of PFAS exposure may be able to receive compensation for their injuries through a civil lawsuit. The settlement or jury award could include money for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Funeral and burial costs in wrongful death cases
In cases where the contamination was caused by egregious negligence on the part of the bottling company could create a punishable liability issue for the manufacturer. Jurors could award victims punitive damages designed to punish the company and deter future misconduct.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you if you’ve been injured due to exposure to PFAS toxic chemicals. The lawyer can:
- Investigate your claim and gather evidence to support it, such as medical records and expert testimony
- Handle all the legal paperwork and file your lawsuit
- Represent you in court, if necessary
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case.
Hire a Product Liability Attorney to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Are you a victim of exposure to PFAS and diagnosed with a severe medical condition? The product liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates protecting victims harmed by defective goods and products.
Contact our legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. We accept all product liability cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning you will never pay upfront fees until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.