More than 24,000 Chemicals Found in Bottled Water (But Surprisingly Not on the Ingredients List)

More than 24,000 Chemicals Found in Bottled Water (But Surprisingly Not on the Ingredients List)

What’s healthier and more vital to our existence than water? Definitely not bottled water. In fact, it’s loaded with so many chemicals it will make your head spin.

According to recent research that looked at 18 bottled water brands, there are an astonishing 24,520 chemicals in bottled water (which makes you wonder just how many chemicals there are in the world if water can contain more than 24,000).

We already know putting anything in plastic knocks its health value down a few notches, even if it’s just because of the indirect health risk from the environmental damage plastic causes, polluting our water and our food supply.

Heating plastic with food in it (like in the microwave) is an absolute no-no, as it makes the chemicals more active and capable of leaching into your food and of course, your bloodstream.

Plastics are hotbeds for endocrine disruptors, which can mimic the body’s natural metabolic functions, throwing off these delicate systems and causing health problems.

The study authors wrote: “We detected antiestrogens and antiandrogens in the majority of analyzed bottled water products. Moreover, the antagonist activity was very potent. An equivalent of 3.75 ml bottled water inhibited estrogen and androgen receptor by up to 60 and 90%, respectively… Bottled water from six different countries has been found to contain estrogenic, antiestrogenic, and antiandrogenic (this study), as well as androgenic, progestagenic, and glucocorticoid-like chemicals. This demonstrates that a popular beverage is contaminated with diverse-acting EDCs.”

And these endocrine disrupting chemicals can lead to cancer, birth defects, cardiovascular issues and developmental issues for children, reports Natural Society—all from something as important and should-be-harmless as water in a bottle.

Terrifying, yes, especially if bottled water is your only option, like if you’re traveling to another country. But there are workaround options like Life Straws and filters that can make conventional tap water a healthier option. There are also a few brands of bottled water that come in glass. Of course, if you’re in a situation where there literally is no other option, drink the water from the bottle. While there are health risks to contend with from plastic, there are far more immediate and potentially dangerous risks in not drinking any water at all.

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Bottled water image via Shutterstock

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.