IWA Publishing

Potential health impacts of consuming desalinated bottled water

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This study compared physicochemical properties, anion and carbon content and major and trace elements in desalinated and non-desalinated bottled water available in Qatar, and assessed the potential health risks associated with prolonged consumption of desalinated water. Results indicate that Qatar's population is not at elevated risk of dietary exposure to As (mean = 666 ng/L), Ba (48.0 μg/L), Be (9.27 ng/L), Cd (20.1 ng/L), Cr (874 ng/L), Pb (258 ng/L), Sb (475 ng/L) and U (533 ng/L) from consumption of both desalinated and non-desalinated bottled water types available in the country. Consumers who primarily consume desalinated water brands further minimize risk of exposure to heavy metals as levels were significantly lower than in non-desalinated bottled water. Desalinated bottled water was not a significant contributor to recommended daily intakes for Ca, Mg and F for adults and children and may increase risk of deficiencies. Desalinated bottled water accounted for only 3% of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) adequate intake (AI) for Ca, 5–6% of the recommended daily allowance for Mg and 4% of the AI for F among adults. For children desalinated water contributed 2–3% of the IOM AICa, 3–10% of the RDAMg and 3–9% of the AIF.

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