Pollutants in mineral water

Water from mineral sources may contain pollutants. “Natural mineral water” can even contain pesticides, since absolute purity is not required by the regulations, according to a decision made by the Higher Administrative Court of Baden Württemberg in a ruling.

Mineral water – no guarantee of purity
Germs in mineral water
Uranium in mineral water
Pesticide residues in mineral water
One in two mineral water products is unsatisfactory
Pollutants permitted in mineral water
Softeners in mineral water
Test results

Infertility due to Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A is not just contained in PET bottles , it is found in numerous other common household items such as toys, tin cans, yoghurt pots, carrier bags, till receipts… and many more.

This substance is suspected of increasing the risk of cancer and other harmful effects on health such as impotence, feminisation, metabolic disorders, organ damage, long-term changes to the nervous and hormones system, compromising the immune system, genetic defects and diabetes.

Researches have shown how dangerous these chemicals are to babies and women in particular. They can lead to infertility. Scientists from the University of Hamburg Eppendorf investigated sperm fertility and concluded that the fertility of German men is falling and approaching the range classed as “critical” by the WHO.

Infertility due to softeners
BPA is harmful to health
Softeners in plastic make you fat
BPA causes migraines

Plastic planet

Microplastics aren’t just floating in the oceans: they are present in our mineral water too, as a research team from Munster has now proven. The scientists were able to carry out very precise analyses using improved measurement techniques.

The “Munster-Emscher-Lippe Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office” (Chemische und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt Münsterland-Emscher-Lippe: CVUA-MEL) has been investigating microplastics in cosmetics and foods since 2015. The Office has now published its first study into microplastics in mineral water.

The CVUA used “Raman microspectroscopy” to take a close look at 38 mineral water products: 22 of these were in multi-use and single-use PET bottles, three in beverage cartons and nine in glass bottles. The Office has not named the specific manufacturers or brands. The sobering result of the analysis: “small” (50-500 µm) and “very small” (1-50 µm) microplastics were found in all the mineral water products tested.

The toxins they contain are taken up through the respiratory tracts and gut and then enter the bloodstream, which allows them to harm organs and the nervous system. This helps to explain the cause of cancers and diseases of modern society.

Plastic is harmful to health
More plastic than fish in the sea
Plastic waste and its consequences

Microplastics in water
Microplastics in bottled water
Researchers find microplastics in mineral water
More studies show microplastics in mineral water

pH value of drinking water and mineral water

The pH value of your water tells you whether your water is acidic, neutral or alkaline. In August 2008, consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest tested 30 mineral water products for various parameters, including their pH values. All 30 tested products had a pH value between 4.6 and 6.1. With an average of 5.5, they lay entirely in the acidic range.

Swiss test results
German test results

Uranium and arsenic in mineral water

What’s actually bubbling in your water bottle? Hardly any consumers are concerned about what’s in our most vital comestible: water. It would be better to be! Consumer magazine “Öko-Test” has now discovered that some brands are unpalatable.

The testers found arsenicboron and even uranium – which is harmful to the kidneys and liver even in small quantities – in the water.

The limit of 10 micrograms per litre for tap water was not introduced until 1st November 2011 – but according to a study by the European Food Safety Authority, this limit is far too high for babies and small children. Foodwatch is calling for a legal upper limit of 2 micrograms per litre. To date, there is no limit for mineral water.

Radionuclides in mineral water
Test results for uranium in mineral water

Plastic bottles cause feminisation

A new study has shown that mineral water from PET bottles contains substances that act like oestrogens. Environmentalists and consumer advisors recommend avoiding mineral water from bottles made using PET plastic. This advice is based on a study from the University of Frankfurt am Main into the most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Germany.

Plastic bottles cause feminisation
Our daily oestrogen
PET bottles: hormone bombs

Flavoured mineral water

Fruit-flavoured mineral water is currently trendy. However, consumer protection advisors warn against it, as the products only simulate natural flavours and contain far too much sugar. The drinks, which promise low-calorie refreshment bursting with juicy fruit flavours, are particularly popular with health-oriented, figure-conscious women under 30. However, this is exactly where the consumers are being cheated: Stiftung Warentest discovered that none of these water products contain fruit, fruit juice or fruit pulp – nothing but synthetic artificial flavourings.
One litre of “Strawberry water” was found to contain up to 23 sugar cubes’ worth of sugar. Were you expecting that in your water? Various cherry-flavoured products were even found to contain three times the permitted concentrations of carcinogenic benzene. The body becomes used to the artificial flavours, so nutrition experts advise stopping immediately and suggest that you create your own flavoured waters instead.
If plain water is too bland for you, add fresh fruit to it. This doesn’t just save on time and money, it’s generally cheaper than flavoured water from the supermarket, too.

“Nobody needs this kind of trendy water!”
-Birgit Rehlender from the Stiftung Warentest consumer protection organisation

Carcinogenic benzene
Flavoured water fails test
Flavour doesn’t come from actual fruit

Mineral marketing strategy

Due to over-mineralisation and insufficient purity (e.g. nitrate and sulphate levels), many common mineral waters are unsuitable for babies and small children. There is considerable scientific debate about the absorption of the minerals contained in the water.

However, water can never be as good as fruit or vegetables as a source of minerals. The ideal for our health will always be natural, low-mineral spring water. Where this is not available, or cannot be bottled, the next best option is processed water that has been softened using the reverse osmosis principle and had all pollutants removed.

Fizzy drinks cause strain on the organism. After around 1.5 litres a day, it is likely that discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract, bloating or an adverse effect on the acid-base balance will result.
People with chronic disorders or whose gastrointestinal tract is already under strain (due to medicines) should make particular efforts to avoid carbonated drinks. Researches have shown that heavily carbonated drinks (sparkling mineral water, lemonade, etc.) in PET bottles typically contain acetaldehyde, which is a by-product of plastic bottle production. Acetaldehyde is suspected to be carcinogenic and has been placed on the EU’s list of potential carcinogens.

Low-mineral water is healthier
Do we need minerals in our water?
Minerals: better in your diet than your water