Bottle of Water

345 words | 2 page(s)

When you purchase a bottle of water, the water is not totally pure. Although the content of bottled water can vary by brand, bottled water commonly contains ionic compounds that include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and/or sodium (Azoulay, Garzon, & Eisenberg, 2001), such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and potassium chloride (Stanek, 2014). Some of the other trace elements that may be found in bottled water include iodine and lithium (Marktl, 2009). If the bottled water is marketed as sparkling water, it also contains carbon dioxide (Reynolds, 2005). Although uncommon, there are also reports of bottled water containing bacteria, protozoa, and viruses (Reynolds, 2005).

Although arsenic is known for its toxic effects on the human body if sufficient quantities are consumed, finding it in bottled water is not an automatic cause for concern. Arsenic is naturally found in rocks, soil, and air (EPA, 2001), so it would not be surprising to find that bottled water contains trace amounts of this element. According to the EPA (2017), the acceptable level of arsenic in water systems is 10 parts per billion.

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If the amount of arsenic measured in the bottled water is lower than this level, health risks are minimal (EPA, 2001). In order to determine whether or not the presence of arsenic in bottled water should raise concern, it may be helpful to explore whether arsenic-releasing activities, such as mining or industrial agriculture (EPA, 2001), are occurring near the source of the bottled water, which could raise levels in the future.

  • Azoulay, A., Garzon, P., & Eisenberg, M.J. (2001). Comparison of the mineral content of tap water and bottled waters. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16(3), 168-75.
  • Marktl, W. (2009). Health-related effects of natural mineral waters. Wiel Klin Wochenschr, 121(17-18), 544-50.
  • Reynolds, K.A. (2005). The microbial quality and safety of bottled water. Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.wcponline.com/2005/09/15/microbial-quality-safety-bottled-water/
  • Stanek, B. (2014). Why your bottled water contains four different ingredients. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/3029191/bottled-water-ingredients-nutrition-health/
  • Technical fact sheet: Final rule for arsenic in drinking water. (2001). EPA. Retrieved from https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPdf.cgi?Dockey=20001XXE.txt

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