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Sparkling Water Contaminated With Chemicals Linked To Eczema, Immune Suppression, Cancer, and Birth Defects

When you look at the ingredients on most sparkling water, like Perrier or Topo Chico, the ingredient list is pretty simple. It’s just carbonated water. So what could possibly be unhealthy about that?

A year and half ago, I found Topo Chico and it was the best thing ever. There’s was something that I loved about the bubbles way more than any other sparkling water I had tried, it was downright addictive! I was drinking one or two bottles every night after my daughter would go to bed, it was my “night cap”… and around the same time, I started developing pesky eczema around my eyes.

I didn’t think they were related at all, until I went on a massive elimination diet to try to figure out what it was…

I eliminated a lot and tried everything, and never suspected Topo Chico, until I had exhausted all my options.

I talked to my integrative doctor about it, my dermatologist, and even went to my acupuncturist and asked him, do you think my eczema could be related to sparkling water? He was dumbfounded – and said, no I’ve never heard of that. 

I told him something just isn’t right about this and so I stopped Topo Chico cold turkey for a while, and long and behold, my eczema cleared up.

But I still on occasion would drink it here and there.. because I wasn’t quite sure. 

Until now. Fast forward to late 2020. 

Consumer Reports came out with a new report about sparkling water that left me stunned that several of the doctors I follow online (like Dr. Christian Gonzalez and Dr. Ana Marie Temple) started to share. 

They tested 45 brands of bottled water (including 12 sparkling waters) and found “PFAS” chemicals in several of them – including the Topo Chico I was personally buying!

Consumer Reports found the most PFAS in Topo Chico. 

They also found levels over the 1 ppt recommended limit in other popular sparkling waters, like Polar, Bubly, Poland Spring, Canada Dry, LaCroix, and Perrier. To make sure they got reliable results, they independently tested 2-4 unopened samples of each variety, which were blind-coded to preserve their identities.

Here are the worst offenders:

  • Topo Chico (now owned by Coca-Cola) (9.76 ppt)
  • Polar Natural Seltzer Water (6.41 ppt)
  • Bubly Blackberry Sparkling Water (2.24 ppt)
  • Poland Spring Zesty Lime Sparkling Water (1.66 ppt)
  • Canada Dry Lemon Lime Sparkling Seltzer Water (1.24 ppt)
  • LaCroix Natural Sparkling Water (1.16 ppt)
  • Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water (1.1 ppt)

What are PFAS chemicals contaminating our water and how do they harm our health?

PFAS stands for a group of over 5,000 toxic fluorinated chemicals that have been used in manufacturing by big corporations (and by governments) for decades. These have now contaminated our environment and drinking water.

Exposure to PFAS are linked to all kinds of tragic health issues:

  • Suppressed Immune System (2)
  • Testicular Cancer (3)
  • Liver Tumors (4)
  • Thyroid Hormone Disruption (12)
  • Delayed Mammary Gland Development (5)
  • Decreased Vaccine Antibody Response (6)
  • Increased Cholesterol Levels (7)(8)
  • Atopic Dermatitis (15) (Ahhhh – this was why I had ECZEMA!!!!)

PFAS chemicals stick around forever…

For decades, the chemical company DuPont used “PFOA” (perfluorooctanoic acid) to make non-stick Teflon and 3M used “PFOS” (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) to make Scotchgard and firefighting foam. These chemicals escaped from their factories, poisoning our drinking water. Even though companies no longer use these two substances, we are still paying the price.

PFAS substances are persistent – and don’t just disappear. They stick around in our environment and in our bodies when we consume them. That is why they are called “Forever Chemicals”.

You’ll now find PFAS in all major water supplies in the U.S., but some areas are worse than others. (9)

PFAS are not regulated by the government. It’s a free for all. 

PFAS chemicals are found in all kinds of products – like nonstick pans, food packaging, cleaning products, carpets, clothing, and more. 

Instead of creating strict limits, the EPA issued “voluntary” guidance that allows 70ppt (parts per trillion) of two of the most dangerous PFAS chemicals (PFOS and PFOA) in drinking water. 

This is WAY TOO MUCH according to many natural health experts. The consumer advocacy group, Environmental Working Group, says the limit should be 1ppt. (10)

And, other advocacy groups like the NRDC say that 1ppt is even too high! (11)

The FDA has no regulations either, so if PFAS chemicals end up in bottled water no one will be held accountable. The FDA can’t even act until after the EPA sets a standard for drinking water, and it’s anyone’s guess how long that will take. 

This is what makes the testing done by Consumer Reports so concerning. 

 

Most of the non-carbonated bottled waters they tested had low levels of PFAS, except for two:

  • Tourmaline Spring Sacred Living Water (4.64 ppt.)
  • Deer Park Natural Spring Water (1.21 ppt)

What about heavy metals in bottled water?

Consumer Reports only found heavy metals in one brand of water: Starkey Spring Water, which is owned by Whole Foods. (13) It contained arsenic (a known carcinogen) nearly at 10 ppb, which is 3 times what Consumer Reports advises as safe: 3 ppb.

James Dickerson, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Consumer Reports says a single bottle won’t harm you, “But regular consumption of even small amounts of the heavy metal over extended periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and lower IQ scores in children, and poses other health issues as well.” (13)

The least contaminated brands…

The sparkling waters with the least amount of PFAS detected included San Pellegrino Natural Sparkling Mineral Water (0.31) and Spindrift Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water (0.19 ppt). Although I don’t like Spindrift, since it’s in an aluminum can.

As always, I highly recommend choosing bottled water that is packaged in glass, to avoid chemicals that are used in plastics and cans from leaching into your water. 

One of my favorite bottled water brands, Mountain Valley Spring Water in the green glass bottles wasn’t tested by Consumer Reports. However, the water quality report on their website shows it is tested for Arsenic, PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS substances, and none were detected in their water. (14)

Make sure you spread the word about this very important investigation!

Since our governmental agencies are doing absolutely nothing about PFAS in our water, I’m so thankful for advocacy groups like Consumer Reports who are doing the work in testing products for harmful substances and raising awareness. 

Please share this post to warn your friends about sparkling water brands contaminated with health-wrecking chemicals. 

And, stop buying bottled water from brands that are allowing these harmful chemicals in their water. They won’t change until they get enough public pressure to do so, and their bottom line is affected. We can make a difference together.

Xo,

Vani

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80 responses to “Sparkling Water Contaminated With Chemicals Linked To Eczema, Immune Suppression, Cancer, and Birth Defects

  1. Great post on Sparkling Water. I noticed “Waterloo” was not mentioned … I drink a couple cans of this per week. Do you have any information on this company, which is based out of Austin, TX?
    I am very conscious of what I eat and drink and research everything 🙂 Waterloo is NON-GMO Project Verified with BPA-free cans. The only ingredient I’m somewhat concerned about is their “natural flavors”…. Any information would be appreciated!

    1. Vani shares information in her book Feeding You Lies about natural flavors, and they are anything but natural. After reading that, I will not buy anything with natural flavors – and they are in most packaged foods! There might be something on her blog about it also – worth searching.

    2. Waterloo’s website (hoping they are truthful)
      What are Waterloo’s natural flavors?
      Waterloo’s natural flavors are derived from the named fruit used in each of our different varieties. By using the natural extracted fruit essences and oils, we create true-to-fruit flavors unlike anything else. This is how Waterloo is able to pack so much flavor and be Non-GMO Project Verified.

      1. Love the Waterloo! Been drinking it for a few years now with zero problems. The water is distilled with no flouride and real fruit flavors. Non-gmo verified.
        Great stuff!
        I drink about 6-8 cans daily, since I don’t touch tap water and love the carbonation and subtle flavors.

  2. Hello….where I live the PFAS has ruined several municipal water wells here in Rhinelander,WI. The city of Rhinelander has shut these water wells down and use the other wells that are not contaminated….so they say.
    If U have the resources FOODBABE to test…. get yourself a “POLARIZER” and set your Topo Chico on it for awhile and see if it cleared or got rid of the PFAS toxin.Let me know how this works.I am too broke at the moment to purchase a polarizer.

  3. Hmm, I drink Costco’s sparkling mineral water during the summer, hopefully, they don’t have any PFAS. Guess, I gotta do some investigating..

    1. I drink Costco’s sparkling waters as well and wondering the same thing. Fingers crossed they are safe. Otherwise it’s San Pelegrín for me.

  4. What about making your own sparkling water? I’m looking into doing this. Must be better than buying the sparkling waters you listed above. We drink a lot of la croix’s at our house. Thanks

      1. I had the same question as well. The bubbles are very similar to Topo Chico. My family and I love our soda stream as well.

  5. How about the SodaStream canisters?… and the make your bubbles at home? Are those also harmful?

    1. You can get glass soda stream bottles, l use my own filtered water and a soda stream at home using the glass bottles.

      1. We have a reverse osmosis water purifier and a Sodastream. I think this is better than bottled water (still or bubbly) because I know exactly what process the water has gone through and the maintenance history of the purifier. It also allows us to reuse containers, so less recycling. Recommend this to everyone.

  6. Thank you for this eye opener…I drink Polar..and Natural is listed….does that include the lemon and lime versions too?

    1. This was also my question. I love Polar seltzer in all flavors. Was it only the plain or all flavors? I saw that Bubly had a specific flavor listed.

  7. Any info on Alkaline 88 or Canada Dry Club Soda? I have recently had skin issues out of nowhere recently (on my eyelids too!) and this would make perfect sense! Thanks for all of the information you relay to us!

  8. Thanks for the info! So surprising considering Topo Chico is sourced from underground springs. I wonder where the PFAS contaminants (in glass bottled product) are coming from?

    1. Topo Chico is a Mexican water source. Mexico has much less strict water protections then the US — which are also very bad compared to EU. The reason Topo is so bad, is that the spring source in highly contaminated.

  9. May I refer everyone here to the movie–Dark Water– which is based on a true incident involving PFAS which took the lawyer over 10 years to get the company Dupont (only one of the pollutants) to admit and pay for putting this into the waters. Thanks for bringing this up, which is why I have 2 water filters containers at all times. I use Clearly Filtered products.

  10. This makes my stomach churn. I ran out of soda stream co2 and they were out at the store so I bought some just generic “good value” seltzer from Walmart (yuck) just to get by until they restocked. I had no idea pfafs even existed until today. No doubt this water is highly contaminated and also in plastic :/ the rest I bought will be dumped now. Thank you so much for this info!!! I use filtered water in glass bottles for my soda stream. Hope this investigation has an impact on other people!! I don’t know why, but straight up carbonated water is my thing. Vani is a gift from the universe!! Say healthy peeps 🙂

  11. There are several brands of organic carbonated water, Cascade Ice being one. The flavors are listed as organic.

  12. Yes, please, tell us how we find out more about local sparklings. They wouldn’t be tested by Consumer Reports but I buy and drink them to support local. Plus we drink no sodas or juices in our home. Thank you so much for this!!!

  13. What about Spindrift? Is this brand contaminated with chemicals? I have been enjoying La croix but had a suspicion that they ere not good for me. They have natural flavors as well I believe. Too bad. Please let us know if there are healthy alternatives. Thank you for the important information!

  14. Very interesting article. I drink Sparkling Ice Classical Lemonade daily. It seems to curb my huge appetite. I buy it at Publics Grocery. Wrong?

  15. What about this in relation to hard seltzer drinks like White Claw or Truly? Does this have impact in a similar manner??

  16. The PFAS content most likely depends on the level of water pollution of a given geographic area. Check out the movie Dark Waters. It’s about an investigation of the origin of PFAS chemicals and the pollution a certain corporation has caused all over the world. There is nothing in existence that can eliminate the presence of the harmful chemicals. New reports have shown even firefighter protective gear, containing PFAS, has been linked to cancers. The chemicals are in clothing and furniture, etc. It seems the corporations responsible for the world wide pollution literally get away with murder.

    1. If you want a more in depth look at what PFOAs and PFOS do please check out the documentary “The Devil We Know”. This stuff is on way more stuff than I ever realized! My family was personally affected by this stuff. It’s way more dangerous than even the government will tell you. If more people see this then more people will stand up and do something about it. We need regulations on these harmful chemicals! Please watch and spread the word. Netflix and Amazon prime are just two of the places this documentary can be found. Life changing.

  17. Great information, did not know. We drink mountain valley water, wondering about their mineral water, if it has any PFOS in it?

  18. Great information! Our daughter was drinking LaCroix for years. She’s also battled eczema on her hands. I sent her this article and even though she’s since stopped drinking LaCroix the information is helpful to know when choosing other waters. Thank you again Vani!

  19. I would like to know about Spindrift also. Please let me know if there is somewhere I can see if they tested Spindrift. I love this and drink it all the time.

  20. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was trying to get away from Nestle’s (the Brand) San Pellegrino natural sparkling water. I love it and guess with Consumer Report rating it so highly, will continue buying it. I bought a 12 pack of the Topo Chico and took it back today.

  21. Hi Vani! Sort of related, but I have a question in regards to alcoholic seltzers (White Claw, Truly, etc.). When the craze first started, I indulged quite a bit. Not too soon after, I started to notice that I would get serious headaches and just feel generally gross. I do not drink them at all anymore, but I have always wondered what else could be in them. Whenever something is “low cal, low sugar, low everything”, but still indulgent, I question it. Maybe you wrote an article on this before not sure! Thank you.

  22. Everyone here should check out the documentary “The Devil We Know”.
    A more in depth look at these chemicals and how they are affecting us. They are in more than just your water bottles. Eye opening.

  23. Have a good friend that was experiencing something weird her eyelids. They were getting swollen and looked like she was crying. Visited the Dr. Doctor told her it was classic eczema.

    They had no idea where it came from? Guess what? She drinks a ton of these sparkling water drinks. related? Unsure. Stay tuned! She is going to stop drinking them for a few weeks to see if it goes away. Can’t even trust the freaking water anymore!

  24. What about sparkling ice? I drink a lot of the lemon lime and ginger lime.

    A list of sparkling water that is safe would be helpful so I what to drink until I can get a soda stream. I need my bubbles!

  25. Well this is unwelcome information. All I drink is coffee and occasionally tea and at least 3-4 cans of sparkling water a day. I prefer the Aldi brand called LaVie, especially the grapefruit flavor. It does taste different than other brands so I sure would love to know how it scores on arsenic and other toxins!

    1. This is what I drink too!! I was trying to wean myself off Cokes she started drinking these!! Now I’m wondering how good they are…

  26. Great article! I fell in love with pelligrino but started getting feelings of a UTI after I would drink it. My warning… Be careful of colored glass. MOST OF GREEN AND DARK COLOR GLASSES CONTAIN LEAD. Tamara Rubin is a good place to start looking. She has tested pelligrino glass and found lead. So basically, we need to write a big thank you letter to the FDA and ask them what the hell they are actually doing!?!

  27. Really we need to stop expecting the government to police every product and manufacturer out there. Using common sense tells you it is a completely impossible expectation to have. People need to start taking personal responsibility. Everyone should start with the belief that money makes the world go round and profit is King. So any product available to use, including organic, nongmo stands the chance of contamination. Consume in moderation.

    1. Thank you. It’s refreshing to hear someone talk common sense. There’s a lot of that missing these days.

  28. A question: if these are forever chemicals that never leave your body, why did your eczema go away after you stopped drinking topo chico?

  29. Wow. A few months ago I started having little patches of dry skin on random parts of my body. It was fall turning to winter in Maine, so I thought that was the culprit. My fiance and I drink both polar and Canada dry brand seltzer waters daily (several cans), and have been doing so for a few years now since we stopped drinking soda. This article was a real eye opener. I’m going to switch us to Poland springs and or Perrier and see if my skin issue goes away. Either way, this is something I’ve never heard of and it’s so concerning that this is in our WATER! Thanks for writing this!

  30. Because of Covid-19, and the fact that my wife and I are both high risk, we rarely ever leave the house. We even have our groceries delivered. And we order those groceries from Publix, close-by and one of the major grocery chains here in Florida. So, regarding sparkling (seltzer) water, we frequently order several 2 liter (plastic) bottles of Publix brand lemon lime and raspberry flavored Seltzer Water.

    Of course, the nutrition info printed on these bottles is silent in regard to any of these harmful chemicals. It boasts the usual facts: 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 sodium, 0 carbs, and 0 protein. Ingredients limited to carbonated water and “natural flavors.” Would love to know if it contains any of these harmful chemicals. Will try to do some additional research.

  31. So, if they are “forever chemicals” that stay in your body, why did your eczema go away after you stopped drinking Topo Chico?

  32. I doubt that these concentrations are meaningful. You are talking about 1-10 parts per trillion. A 12oz bottle is about 355mg so 10ppt (slightly more than topo) contains 0.000000000355mg. The studies you cite were feeding mice about 5mg/kg total dose. The average human weighs about 80kg in North America, so that’s 400mg. To consume that dose from these sparkling waters you would need to drink over a trillion bottles of them!

    I would not worry about consuming these drinks as far as the fluorine containing compounds goes. It very well may have been contributing to your symptoms but it would almost certainly be something else in the ingredients.

  33. Thank you for writing this article. I was curious if you know about any harmful side affects of Soda Stream? We consume a lot of Bubby water daily using this device. We use alkaline water free from fluoride that comes from a natural spring. Do you think we could be exposing ourselves to any potential Poisen?

  34. My husband has been having issues with new onset Eczema. We have eliminated some foods and it slowed down but didn’t stop. I bet the carbonated water we are buying is the culprit. Bubly blackberry. Thank you for sharing. I posted your article on my Facebook page.

  35. great article! I need to get my husband off this stuff!! Do you know anything about the brand Waterloo?

  36. Great article… thanks so much for this info.

    Have to ask… what about home units like Soda Stream… is the end product as vulnerable!!!???

  37. I drink 2-3 cans of Spindrift per day and have done this for a couple years now. Recently I’ve noticed some skin irritation so I’ll have to get it checked out. Might be Eczema.

    While Spindrift scored very low (.19 ppt), it’s still a concerning number since my daily consumption is closer to the recommended 1 ppt (which some say is too high).

    We need more studies like these so we can hold these companies accountable.

  38. I know a family that deals with psoriasis. Is there anything they may be doing or need to be doing to resolve this?

  39. Me and two of my daughters started drinking Whole Foods brand of sparkling water, bought 10 large bottles of it at once because it was on sale. We were having a glass a day with some lemon in it thinking it was a nice treat as we don’t do any kind of Soda’s. Anyway, my stomach and one of my daughters stomachs were starting to hurt on a daily basis. I cut out the water as it was the only new thing I was doing and it went away. I thought it was just the gases in it, but after reading this I am even more glad that I cut out the bubbly. So disappointing!

  40. Wow! I have had horrible eczema on my scalp and face, off and on, for the last 3 years or so. This despite never having those issues for 60 years before that. I drank Smart Water, Bubly and La Croix. I’ve now switched to The Mountain Valley for water and Waterloo for sparkling. I am thinking it’s the Smart Water which may have been the culprit and would love to know if that water’s bad for you because I’ve long joked that it feels like there’s something in it that’s addictive. Hoping that getting off all that helps things to clear up! Thanks for this blog! It’s much appreciated. 🙂

  41. Is it also linked to acne roscea? I have a constant battle with roscea on my face for years and I love drinking sparkling water.

  42. For years I drank almost nothing but “happy water” as I used to call it.

    Then I heard Dr Ted Broer mention that carbonated water has a PH of about 3 – pretty near battery acid.

    Suddenly I realized why my TEETH HAD TURNED GREY – years of battery acid baths!!!

    THAT was the last day I ever drank a sparkling water….

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