This might be a website about tap water, but we get many drinking water related questions as well and this has been one of the top ones. So, is Dasani water any good? Should you avoid Dasani or is it fine to drink in 2022?
It Wasn’t Great In 2004
If a controversy can help inquiry to uncover the truth, Dasani water faced the brunt of it in 2004. In line with the adage “There is no smoke without fire”, the inflammatory gossip about Dasani bottled water compelled its parent company, Coca-Cola, to make some surprising admissions. The global market leader in beverages conceded that its marketing slogan of “pure as bottled water gets” was nothing more than a gimmick. Factually speaking, it was nothing more than treated tap water from their Sidcup production facility.
The news stalled Dasani launches in Germany and France while Coca-Cola recalled nearly half a million bottles from the UK market. Then again, is tap water all that bad? In this case, the tested bottled water was found to contain toxic levels of hazardous non-metallic salt called bromate. At that time, it was a scientifically established fact that prolonged exposure to bromate increased the risk of cancer.
In an instant, the second most popular water brand of USA got tarnished in Europe. Coca-Cola’s 10 million Euro investment had made it a leading brand in UK too, but now it all seemed fruitless. Before the scandal, Dasani was competing with Nestle & Danone. After the scandal, it lost consumer trust.
Immediately before the onset of summer, the British Food Standards Agency conducted a test on Dasani. By the middle of March, it stated that Dasani had high levels of bromate. The Company responded by acknowledging that the bromate got introduced into the water by accident due to issues in the purification process. It withdrew stock of half a million bottles & many customers believed it to be a one-off mishap.
Things did not end there. The public found out that Dasani produced water by purifying tap water at a local factory in Sidcup. National Newspapers ran with the story. While most premium bottled water attributed itself to natural springs & Alpine glaciers, this was mere tap water. The premium status of its purity disappeared overnight. Consumers felt cheated again. First, it was bromate and now it was ordinary treated tap water wrapped in a fancy brand. The dissatisfaction snowballed into unbelievable fears of parasitic worms and pathogens.
A ripple effect of public relations blunders & people doubted if Dasani water was really sugar-free & caffeine-free. The Company had admitted to all that was uncovered, but the rabbit hole of their deceit could go deeper.
What About Now?
In the UK, Bromate was a serious public health concern. Dasani is still banned in the UK market since 2004. All its products are banned — flavored water, flavor drops, and Dasani drops. The UK public was paying 2 dollars for questionable water with potentially unsafe properties, a result of the extremely high levels of bromate. This scandal stained Dasani for the global markets.
In the age of the internet, nothing can be truly buried or forgotten. Whenever Dasani faces another controversy, the 2004 scandal could jump to the fore of Google searches and consumers would learn of the problems Dasani had in the UK. If it happened in the UK, consumers maybe tempted to believe that it’s possible anywhere in the world.
What About In The USA?
In 2017-18, news outlets claimed that Dasani had recalled huge batches of water in the USA, its prime market. The reports claimed that Dasani had fumbled in another major market. This time, it was a dangerous parasite in the water. They further clarified that many consumers of this water had to be hospitalized due to the parasite. Claims were also made about its ill-effects on health i.e.fevers, vomiting, bloating, and rashes and similar symptoms.
People became cautious about a parasitic worm that threatened life and made people helpless in front of an expensive healthcare system. Nonetheless, this news was a fabrication. It is not clear if the news intended to scare consumers from buying Dasani products or to get a few days of viral limelight, but there was no recall.
Either way, Coca-Cola had to get ahead of this propaganda & issue statements to the press to categorically deny the presence of any parasite in their water. The same statement also encouraged the audience to consume Dasani Water because it was safe.
Is Dasani Water Really Safe?
According to a 2018 study, no bottled water is safe. The researchers in the study tested bottled water from Nestle, Aquafina, Evian & Dasani. They found significant levels of microparticles of plastic in all the waters, including Dasani. These micro-particles were leaner than human hair & they amounted to 10.4 units per liter of bottled water. Out of the tested sample of bottles, 93% had these microparticles & some contained over 10,000 units. Merely 7% of bottles contained zero microparticles.
In absolute terms, Dasani water has some unhealthy contaminants but it was not found to be hazardous after the 2004 scandal. Additionally, the contamination of plastic microparticles is no different from ordinary bottled and tap water.