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Is bottled water safer than tap water?

Bottled water in some developing countries is also of the same quality as tap water Keystone Archive

Research by the University of Geneva found that tap water in developed countries is just as safe and healthy as bottled water, and much less harmful to the environment.

This content was published on March 6, 2003 - 21:42

The 2001 study, commissioned by the Swiss-based World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), said that in many cases the only difference is that bottled water comes in a fancy container, rather than out of a tap.

It found that "there are more standards regulating tap water in Europe and the United States than those applied to the bottled water industry".

The same applies to many developing countries, according to Franz Gähwiler of the Swiss charity, Helvetas.

"For example in India and neighbouring countries there are many companies that bottle water and sell it for 15 Rupees which is quite a lot. And tests on the water quality found that it was not even safe.

"So the price bottled water companies ask for so-called mineral water is too high," Gähwiler said.

swissinfo, Samantha Tonkin

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