Hormone-disrupting chemicals detected in bottled water
New research finds that most commercialized bottled water contains chemicals that could be harmful to its consumers.
The ingredients in question are called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, which are man-made compounds commonly used in plastics and which have previously been found to interfere with several organisms.
A 2010 study, published in one of The Endocrine Society’s journal, Hormones & Cancer, found that adults who were exposed to EDCs prenatally were at higher risk of breast cancer.
The new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, reviewed 18 bottled water products to determine which EDCs, if any, were in which waters. Researchers specifically sought the presence of chemicals that can block estrogen activity and chemicals that can prevent any biological effects.
Findings showed that almost 75 percent of the brands tested contained chemicals that can block estrogen activity, and almost 90 percent of the water had chemicals that can prevent biological effects.
Researchers believe these chemicals are present in the majority of commercialized bottled water, and there could be other EDCs in bottled water that have yet to be discovered.
Whether certain EDCs are necessarily harmful to people must be determined by further research. Additionally, more studies need to be conducted to determine whether certain EDCs should be banned in consumer products. Earlier this year, EDCs in certain products were found to have failed to undergo sufficient testing, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organization.
Researchers of the new study said they hope their findings will bring more attention to and research of the effect of EDCs in beverages, food and other consumer products.