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Help EWG do bottled water research - and win a prize!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Last year we took a close look at 100s of bottled water labels to see how good (or bad) manufacturers are at sharing important information with consumers - like my mother, who buys it by the box (me = biting tongue; gotta pick your battles, right?).

When you buy water to drink (crazy as that even sounds), you should know where it comes from, how it's purified and what's left in it. But too often, bottled water labels have more silly (and misleading) sales lingo than useful information that you might want to make an informed decision about the water you drink.

Which is exactly why we like to look closely at bottled water labels.

Send us your labels so we can continue our research EWG wants to see if bottled water companies have improved since we looked at them in 2009, or if they're still conveniently skipping the facts with dreamy phrases like "purified by equatorial winds," "pure as the driven snow," and (get this one) "resonates with the energy and frequency of well-being." Ha!

But first, we need some labels. And that's where you come in.

Here's how to get involved:

  1. The next time you buy a bottle of water in the U.S. (there are those times when you just might "have" to), choose a non-sparkling, unflavored water bottled in glass or clear plastic.
  2. Carefully remove the entire label from the bottle. We need all the information from the label, so if necessary, cut the plastic around the label to get it all off.
  3. Write down: * Name and location of the store where you purchased the water * Date you purchased the water * Your name, email and mailing address
  4. Let us know you're sending us labels - it'll help us plan. Click here to send a note to EWG researchers.
  5. Mail your labels and other information to:

    Environmental Working Group Attn: Nneka Leiba 1436 U St. NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20009

What bottled water labels aren't telling you In 2009 we examined 100's of bottled water labels, thanks to terrific participation from fans who collected and sent them our way. We found that only 2 of 188 bottled waters surveyed make public 3 basic facts about their products routinely disclosed by municipal water utilities: the water's source, purification methods, and chemical pollutants remaining after treatment.

The reason: bottled water companies enjoy a regulatory holiday under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which grants them complete latitude to decide what, if any, information about their water is divulged to customers.

Prizes for all and a Klean Kanteen for sending the most Whoever sends the most labels (duplicates not counting) by Friday, April 30th will win a stainless steel water bottle with the EWG logo and a jumbo-sized, reusable grocery tote printed with EWG's pollution solutions tips. Plus, everyone who participates will get a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides magnet!

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