We drink bottled water because it’s “safe,” but some of it actually makes people sick. Researchers say that up to 6,000 campylobacter food poisoning infections a year in the U.K. can be traced to bottled water. This bacteria causes diarrhea and stomach aches.
Chris Bunting writes in the Independent that scientists interviewed 213 campylobacter patients and 1,144 other people who had stomach problems but were not infected by campylobacter. They discovered that the symptoms were caused by bottled water in 12% of the cases. The only worse foods were salad (21%) and chicken (31%).
Researcher Meirion Evans says, “Eating chicken is a well-established risk factor, but consuming salad and bottled water are not. The association with salad may be explained by cross-contamination of food within the home, but the possibility that natural mineral water is a risk factor for campylobacter infection could have wide public health implications.”
How can bottled mineral water make you sick? Natural mineral water is found in springs or boreholes. Unlike tap water, it must be “pure,” meaning it can’t be treated with chlorine or other chemicals that kill bacteria, so if there is campylobacter bacteria at the source, it will get into the water. The bacteria are able to live in water for a long time, especially if it’s not carbonated.
Bottled water dangerous? It’s just one more thing that doctors don’t tell you.
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