Company pulls water bottled in Mexico over arsenic concerns

The company that produces bottled water sold at Target and Walmart stores says it will stop selling its unflavored mineral spring water products, imported from Mexico, due to the presence of arsenic.

The Food and Drug Administration says that Keurig Dr Pepper announced the voluntarily move.

Arsenic when present in the diet at very high levels is associated with numerous chronic diseases.

Water quality tests of Peñafiel samples conducted by an independent laboratory on behalf of Keurig Dr Pepper detected arsenic at levels that exceeded the FDA's bottled water standards for mineral water of 10 ppb.

All unflavored Peñafiel mineral spring water products including 600mL and 1.5L of all date codes are included in this voluntary withdrawal.

Consumers who have this product in their possession can return it to their retailer for a full refund, according to a news release.

Last week, the California Center for Environmental Health issued a release regarding independent testing that found high levels of arsenic — a toxic metal that can cause reproductive harm, cancer and birth defects — in in Peñafiel and Starkey Water, owned by Whole Foods.

Under California's Prop 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, these two bottled water brands contain enough arsenic that they are required to place a health warning on labels — something that neither brand has done.

"There is no place for arsenic in bottled water," said Caroline Cox, Senior Scientist at CEH. 

Just two months ago, Consumer Reports published similar research which found high levels of arsenic in the same two brands of bottled water.

Arsenic is a heavy metal that acts as a carcinogen, which can wreak havoc on the human body. Even small levels of arsenic ingestion can cause big problems; it only take a small dose of arsenic significantly disrupt the body's endocrine system, which regulates hormone production and secretion.

Prolonged arsenic ingestion via contaminated water can lead to toxicity in almost all systems of the body because arsenic inactivates up to 200 enzymes responsible for things like DNA synthesis and repair.

Initial symptoms of acute arsenic poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, and can in some cases lead to nerve damage or brain damage, such as memory loss, dementia, or seizures.

Children are much more susceptible to arsenic toxicity, which can negatively affect mental and physical development as they are still growing. This can lead to lower IQs and poor performance in school.