German researchers have discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), that could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 different bottled water products(1). Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system, they can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders and as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders(1).
This study comes from Martin Wagner and Jorg Oehlmann of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlusener and Thomas Ternes of the German Federal Institute of Hydrology. They determined that bottled water could contain serious amounts of EDCs that should be a cause from concern.
Researchers used spectrometric simulation to narrow down their findings to DEHF as the only possible EDC giving rise to harmful activity. DEHF is also known as an anti-estrogenic compound, which means that another unidentified EDC must be present in the samples that showed anti-androgenic activity.
The authors employed a sensitive in vitro bioassay to characterize the total estrogenic burden leaching from plastics, including potential mixture effects and unidentified EDCs. Using a similar approach, a series of studies reported a widespread estrogenic contamination of commercially available bottled water. Here, we combine biological and chemical analysis to identify putative steroid receptor antagonists in bottled water. Most of the products were potently antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic in the bioassays. Nontarget high-resolution mass spectrometry pointed towards maleate and fumarate isomers as promising candidates and subsequently enabled the identification of di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate. Because its concentration is too low to explain the observed activity, other compounds must contribute. However, further maleate/fumarate isomers are not only biologically active but structurally highly similar to phthalates. Hence, we speculate these compounds might represent a novel, so far overlooked group of EDCs. An increasing number of in vitro studies reports the presence of EDCs in bottled water. With previous studies focusing on estrogenicity, the present work provides evidence for an additional contamination with steroid receptor antagonists. 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 percent. Bottled water from six different countries has been found to contain estrogenic, antiestrogenic, as well as androgenic, progestagenic, and glucocorticoid-like chemicals. This demonstrates that a popular beverage is contaminated with diverse-acting EDCs(1).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The answer is simple, don’t drink bottled water! Apart from that, you can purchase water filters that take out the chlorine and fluoride from your water if you choose, they aren’t that hard to find and if you do your research you can find some fairly inexpensive ones. If you’re interested, shoot us an email and we can help you out in your search. 24,000 chemicals is a lot of chemicals to be putting into your body. I’m not saying all of them are harmful, but who would want to take that chance? It’s not uncommon for us to taste some of these chemicals within the water that come from the plastic, especially if you leave the bottle in the sun for a short period of time.
Here is a very informative video that shares a lot more of what needs to be known about bottled water: