Bottled Water: Safe Drinking?

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 22 March 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Journal of Environmental Monitoring/RSC Publishing
thumbnail image: Bottled Water: Safe Drinking?

Antimony is known to leach from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles into the contents and consumers are warned not to re-use such bottles. A new three-center study shows that when leaching does occur, levels of antimony are well below European Union safety limits. 32 PET bottles from the UK and Nigeria were analyzed and found to contain 177–320 mg per kg of Sb. Water samples from six freshly purchased bottles of water were, with one exception, below safe limits.

The study also looked at re-use of bottles at the potentially problematic but common storage temperature range of 40–60 °C and showed that levels remained below EU limits even after two days. The researchers also remark that water bottled from sources close to human activity can contain 100 times the concentration of antimony than those from unpolluted sources.

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