Contaminated Water Bottles
Written by Faith Anderson on February 27, 2013
DHHS Issues Warning Regarding Contaminated Water Bottles
Last week, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a press release reiterating Poland Spring’s warning, notifying the public that while some gasoline contamination was detected prior to distribution, there is a chance that others slipped through and were refilled with water and sent to customers. “The contamination is not thought to be a widespread problem, but we want to remind consumers that they should use their 3- or 5-gallon water bottles only for drinking water,” advised the director of Public Health Services in New Hampshire, Dr. Jose Montero. “Of course during a disaster we need to do what is necessary to go on, but contaminated water bottles should be discarded.”
Contaminated Bottles May Have Been Redistributed
According to Poland Spring, returned water bottles undergo vigorous examinations and disinfection processes to clean the containers and determine if there is a presence of gasoline in the bottles. After the water bottles are disinfected and thoroughly washed with hot water, they go through an inspection process to determine if there are any organic compounds (VOCs) present. Typically, if VOCs are detected, the bottle has been used to transport gasoline and is therefore destroyed. While Poland Spring believes the majority of the bottles contaminated with gasoline have been detected and destroyed, the company is advising consumers to smell the water in their containers to determine whether they may have been contaminated. Clean water is odorless and should not have any chemical smell, the DHHS reports.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer to File a Claim
Most Poland Spring 3- and 5-gallon water bottles are delivered directly to homes and offices for use atop water coolers. The DHHS recommends that consumers in possession of a water bottle that has a gasoline odor do not drink or use the water. Instead, consumers are advised to contact their bottled water provider to make arrangements to receive a replacement. If you believe you or a loved one has been adversely affected by a contaminated water bottle, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help you pursue legal action. Our consumer advocates are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured consumers nationwide, and can put you in touch with a lawyer in your area who has experience handling product liability cases.