Refreshing, sugar-free, fun, fizzy, and amazing with a slice of your preferred citrus, clearly there’s plenty of reasons that explain the popularity of sparkling water.
But not all sparkling waters are created equal. It may seem that water is water — and yet, it’s not. Some sparkling waters have the potential to be contaminated with a group of chemical compounds called PFAS.
We’ve done some digging to discover more about PFAS and also rounded up the brands that contain chemical traces as well as the ones that don’t.
What is a PFA?
According to a 2020 study by Consumer Reports, some popular brands of sparkling water have recently been shown to contain some levels of artificial chemicals that can potentially be linked to health risks. PFAS are artificial chemicals that don’t break down over time, and accumulate in the body and the environment. There is some evidence that shows PFAS are linked to health issues when consumed. Currently, no federal regulation exists for PFA standards in the food and beverage industries, but some states have set limits. Some state regulators and scientists see that limit as too lax and suggest it should be lowered.
The Biggest Offenders: Sparkling Waters That Contain PFAS
Before we name names — we want to caveat that none of the following brands exceeded suggested PFA levels from the U.S. Environmental Agency. All sparkling water brands on the market have to comply with safe limits, but some brands still contain low levels of PFAS. However, some scientists and environmental groups believe that a limit of 1 part per trillion (ppt) is an appropriate limit, although the chemicals aren’t currently subject to federal regulation.
The following sparkling waters have been shown to potentially contain trace levels of PFAS, according to the Consumer Reports study.
- Topo Chico (9.76 ppt)
- Polar Natural Seltzer Water (6.41 ppt)
- Bubly Sparkling Water (2.24 ppt)
- Poland Spring Sparkling Water (1.66 ppt)
- Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water (1.24 ppt)
- LaCroix Natural Sparkling Water (1.16 ppt)
- Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water (1.1 ppt)
If your heart just sank a little, don’t despair. There are still plenty of widely available sparkling water brands without the potential for trace levels of PFAS.
The Better Alternatives: Sparkling Waters That Contain Little to Zero PFAS
In the same study, other brands that had PFA levels below 1 ppt included:
- San Pellegrino
- Sparkling Ice
THE FULLEST Bubbly Picks
Outside of PFAS, there are other things to consider in choosing a sparkling water, things like BPA-free packaging, sustainability practices, and if it’s sourced at a local (versus international) spring.
For these reasons, we highly recommend the following brands:
Antipodes for Certifiable Purity
This brand became the world’s first and is still the only mineral water to be carboNZero certified. From its source to any dining table in the world, Antipodes sparkling water leaves behind absolutely no carbon footprint. It’s also beautiful to drink and has received multiple water tasting awards — because that’s a thing.
Castle Rock for Sparkling Water with a Sliver of Mysticism
Born from the pristine springs of Mount Shasta’s glacier, Castle Rock is committed to providing, “the purest and most natural form of water as nature intended.” Sourced in Dunsmuir, California, this naturally filtered spring water undergoes a long journey slowly percolating through miles of layered granite, gem-infused rock and volcanic lava tubes finally exiting the mountain in energetic streams. Basically, Mother Nature is doing your water crystal infusions free of charge.
Side note: for those not familiar, Mount Shasta is considered an energy vortex by many seekers. Native Americans also believe it to be a sacred site. For those that want to go even deeper into folklore and legends, it is also said to be home to the Lemurians, an ancient ocean tribe that fled their undersea dwelling and have since been living inside the mountain. Either way, there is something otherworldly about this water.
Wonder for Super Smart Sustainability
We’re all aware that single-use plastics aren’t great. However, they are convenient and therein lies the problem. Wonder is an emerging brand that is trying to bridge the gap between easy and sustainable hydration with its innovative approach to packaging. They do this by using single-use aluminum over plastic — as aluminum is infinitely recyclable.
Ali Parsons graduated from The University of Washington with a degree in Media & Communications. She is passionate about nutrition, health, and wellness and is currently in the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian. Ali enjoys cooking, running, yoga, hiking and travel!