Health Tip: Decoding Bottled Water Terms

(HealthDay News) — Bottled water is the fastest growing drink choice in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water as a packaged food under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The EPA defines the different types of water available:

  • Artesian water, ground water, spring water, well water — These types of water stem from underground aquifers, which may or may not be treated.
  • Distilled water — Steam from boiling water is recondensed and bottled. Distilling water kills microbes and removes water’s natural minerals.
  • Drinking water — Water intended for human consumption and sealed in containers that may contain disinfectants considered ‘safe.’ Fluoride also may be added to help protect teeth.
  • Mineral water — Ground water that naturally contains 250 or more parts per million of total dissolved solids.
  • Purified water — Water that has been treated to meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia definition of
    purified water. Purified water is
    essentially free of all chemicals,
    and may also be free of microbes if
    treated by distillation.
  • Carbonated water, soda water, seltzer water, sparkling water, and tonic water — These are considered soft drinks and are not regulated as bottled water.

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