BY JANE KAY
San Francisco Chronicle Environment Writer
Bottled water brands do not always maintain the consistency of quality touted in ads featuring alpine peaks and crystalline lakes and, in some cases, contain toxic byproducts that exceed state safety standards, tests show.
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization with offices in Oakland, tested 10 brands of bottled water and found that Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Choice contained chemical levels that exceeded legal limits in California and the voluntary standards adopted by the industry.
The tests discovered an average of eight contaminants in each brand. Four brands besides Wal-Mart’s also were contaminated with bacteria.
The environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue Wal-Mart Tuesday, alleging that the mega-chain failed to warn the public of illegal concentrations of trihalomethanes, which are cancer-causing chemicals.
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