News & Media

News & Media

Chinese Bottled Water Study Misrepresents Facts

A recent study conducted in China by Nanjing University and the University of Florida (Effects of storage temperature and duration on release of antimony and bisphenol A from polyethylene terephthalate drinking water bottles of China) misrepresents bottled water and incorrectly infers it to be potentially unsafe.

The study was conducted in China, not the United States. The samples were Chinese brands, manufactured in China, and not sold in the U.S. The reported findings are well below the threshold of any regulatory standard and lead researcher Dr. Lena Ma states that they are not a cause for concern and that bottled water is safe to drink.

Bottled Water is Safe

Bottled water is a safe and healthy choice when it comes to packaged beverages. Consumers choose bottled water for many reasons, including its refreshing taste, reliable quality, zero calories and additives, and convenience. And for many, bottled water is a vital alternative to other packaged beverages, which are often less healthy.

Certain consumers may also require reliable access to bottled water due to medical issues, such as compromised immune systems, allergies, cancer, or other significant health conditions.  In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals with compromised immune systems drink bottled water.

PET Plastic and BPA

PET plastic bottles, commonly small, portable 16.9 (half-liter) and 24 ounce sizes, are safe and reliable for food contact use.  PET is used in a variety of packaging for many foods, including everything from peanut butter, soft drinks, and juices to beer, wine, and spirits.  PET is approved as safe for food and beverage contact by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar regulatory agencies throughout the world, and has been for over 30 years.

BPA it is not a chemical component of PET. Regulatory agencies in several countries and the FDA have ruled favorably on the safety of BPA.  The consensus among these international regulatory agencies is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging does not pose a health risk.


As with the BPA findings, the level of antimony (Sb) found in the samples was minimal and well below the FDA’s health-based regulatory limit of 6 parts per billion (ppb). In fact, even when exposed to the highest temperature applied in the study, the concentrations of antimony found in the water were only 0.02 – 2.6 ppb. These results are consistent with previous studies that have repeatedly demonstrated the migration of antimony from PET bottles into beverages to be less than 6 ppb – well below FDA, World Health Organization (WHO), and European Health Safety Authority (EFSA) regulations. In most cases, antimony is not even detected in migration tests using protocols that represent common “real world” conditions.

Regulation of Bottled Water

In the United States, bottled water is comprehensively regulated by the FDA as a packaged food product.  By federal law, the FDA regulations governing the safety and quality of bottled water must be at least as stringent as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for tap water.  And, in some very important cases like lead, coliform bacteria, and E. coli, bottled water regulations are substantially more stringent.

Please visit to get the facts about bottled water.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, IBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Model Code is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information about IBWA, bottled water and a list of member‚ brands, please contact
Jill Culora, IBWA‚ Vice President of Communications at 703-647-4609 or [email protected].


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