News & Media

News & Media

Jun 2, 2010

Students Drinking Bottled Water Following Fountain Contamination

Air conditioning coolant in tap water? Yikes.


Students at P.S. 20 in Queens will be drinking bottled water in class today, one day after dozens became ill after drinking contaminated water from a fountain.
The Department of Education says 74 students complained of nausea after drinking the pink-colored water at the Flushing elementary school yesterday; 71 of those students were taken to the hospital.

Sources say the water was contaminated by propylene glycol, a chemical used in coolant. The chemical, which is non toxic in small doses, likely came from an air conditioning system being installed in a new wing of the school.

Propylene glycol is sweet tasting, which could explain why students continued to drink the water.

Officials say the contamination was limited to the school’s water supply.

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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