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Journal of Water and Health Vol 06 No 4 pp 505–512 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wh.2008.064

Bottled water selection and health considerations from multi-element analysis of products sold in New York state

Jeffrey Chiarenzelli and Christina Pominville

Department of Geology, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York 13617, USA Tel.: 315-229-5202 E-mail: jchiaren@stlawu.edu
Spackenkill High School, Spackenkill Union Free School District, 112 Spackenkill Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603, USA


Nineteen bottled water products were purchased from stores in Potsdam and Wappingers Falls, New York and analyzed for 71 inorganic elements by inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The wide range in elemental concentrations observed suggests considerable variation in source water composition, processing, and treatment. Comparison with samples from a typical small municipal water system (Potsdam, New York) was made to evaluate the differences between bottled and municipal water and in many cases little difference is apparent. With the exception of one sample of tonic water and one mineral water, all bottled waters tested meet United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) primary standards for drinking water supplies. Ingestion of some of the waters could provide significant percentages of the reference daily intakes (RDI) of key trace elements. Knowledge of the inorganic chemistry of bottled water can help consumers select the brands best suited to their individual health needs or preferences.

Keywords: bottled water; drinking water; multi-element analyses

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