Bottled water sold at Whole Foods, Target found with high levels of arsenic, study says

A study by the Center for Environmental Health found that high levels of arsenic were found in Starkey Water and Penafiel.  (iStock)

Testing found that high levels of arsenic were found in two bottled water brands sold at Target and Whole Foods, a study stated.

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The testing, commissioned by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), found the high levels of arsenic in Starkey Water, which is owned by Whole Foods, and Penafiel, which is owned by Keurig Dr Pepper and sold at Target stores.

“CEH has sent legal notices to these bottled water manufacturers and retailers because the amount of arsenic in the water is above the level requiring a health warning under California’s consumer protection law Proposition 65,” a press release from the CEH stated. “Prop 65 identifies arsenic as a metal that causes reproductive harm and cancer.”

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The press release stated children could be the most harmed by high levels of arsenic because to their bodies are still developing. The element could also harm an unborn child.

“Consumers are being needlessly exposed to arsenic without their knowledge or consent,” Michael Green, the CEO of CEH, said in a statement. “Customers typically purchase bottled water at exorbitantly high costs with the assumption that it is safer and healthier to drink than tap water, unaware that they are ingesting an extremely toxic metal linked to birth defects and cancer.”

The report stated the findings confirm research conducted by Consumer Reports earlier this year, “which also discovered high levels of arsenic in these bottled water brands.”

On Friday, Keurig Dr Pepper announced it will be withdrawing Penafiel products from shelves due to “presence of violative levels of arsenic,” a press release from the Food and Drug Administration stated. The products are sold at Target, Walmart and other vendors, according to USA Today. Consumers can return the products to a retailer for a full refund.

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A Whole Foods Market spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement, "At Starkey Water, our highest priority is to provide customers with safe, high-quality and refreshing spring water. Beyond the required annual testing by an FDA certified lab, we have an accredited third-party lab test every production run of water before it is sold, and our test results from the same lot analyzed by Consumer Reports show that these products are fully compliant with FDA standards for heavy metals. We would never sell products that do not meet FDA requirements.”