Via Wired, it seems that bottled water has some contaminant issues (like that whole scare about polycarbonate water bottles). I still think that leachates are not so great a concern as people think, but most things that will get people to stop drinking bottled water are good ideas in my book.
The study referenced used snails to measure the effects of sex hormone analogues (probably pthalates) that are used as plasticizers in all kinds of things these days. Snails grown in bottled water tended to have a lot more little snails. That is an indicator that there might be some hormone analogues coming out of the plastic.
I doubt the effects on humans will be so easily determined.
F.L.O.W. is a new documentary on water. On Democracy Now Sept. 12 2008, they discussed it and, in particular, the topic of bottled water. When I was in Ukraine, I was told both by locals and by the tour guide that it was not smart to drink the local tap water (unless it was boiled). Ukraine is a whole different situation than in the U.S. We have clean tap water here. The water out of your tap is more tightly regulated and is almost certainly more safe than bottled water. And it is orders of magnitude cheaper.
The oft-quited statistic is that the U.S. alone spent $15 billion on bottled water in 2007. Well, check this out:
“The United Nations Millennium Development Goal for environmental sustainability calls for halving the proportion of people lacking sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015. Meeting this goal would require doubling the $15 billion a year that the world currently spends on water supply and sanitation”
With what the U.S. alone spends on bottled water that we don’t need we could alleviate the very real need for half of the world’s population. That, ladies and gentlemen, is shameful.