February 10, 1990: New York Times headline— Perrier Recalls Its Water in U.S. After Benzene Is Found in Bottles. by George James “The company that made bottled mineral water chic is voluntarily recalling its entire inventory of Perrier from store shelves throughout the United States after tests showed the presence of the chemical benzene in a small sample of bottles.
The impurity was discovered in North Carolina by county officials who so prized the purity of Perrier that they used it as a standard in tests of other water supplies.
The Food and Drug Administration said it is testing supplies in California and other states. In a written statement issued last night, Ronald V. Davis, president of the Perrier Group of America Inc., said there was no significant health risk to the public. But the statement did not go into the details of the recall, how it would work, the number of bottles to be recalled and the impact on a company that has built its success on its product’s image of purity and stylishness.
William M. Grigg, a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration, said his agency’s Hazard Evaluation Board had collected samples of Perrier and found no immediate risk to the public from the benzene in the water.”