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Sci Total Environ. 2002 Feb 21;285(1-3):165-75.

Chemical quality of bottled waters from three cities in eastern Alabama.

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  • 1Chemical Engineering Department, Tuskegee University, AL 36088, USA.


Twenty-five brands of bottled waters consisting of both purified and spring types collected randomly from three Alabama cities, USA were assessed for their suitability for human consumption. Water quality constituents analyzed include pH, conductivity, alkalinity, chloride, nitrate + nitrite, sulfate, phosphate, total carbon (TC), inorganic carbon (IC), total organic carbon (TOC), and 27 elements on the inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES). The results obtained were compared with US EPA drinking water standards and the European union (EU) drinking water directive. Ni was non-detectable in all the samples and Cu, Pb, Sb, Zn, Mn, Al, Cr, Mg, P, Ca, sulfate, chloride and nitrates + nitrites were all below their respective USEPA drinking water standards or EU maximum admissible concentrations (MAC). The conductivity, pH, As, Cd, Hg, Zn, Se and Tl values in some samples exceeded the EU and USEPA standards for drinking water. No sample had pH > 8.5, but seven bottled water brands analyzed were acidic (pH < 6.5). Most of the sampled brands had TOC concentrations exceeding 3 mg/l. The concentrations of most water quality constituents analyzed, in most cases, were higher in the spring water brands compared to the purified or distilled brands of bottled water. A one-way parametric analysis of variance (ANOVA) conducted on pH, conductivity, IC, TOC, Ca, Na, K, Mg, Se, sulfate, chloride and nitrate + nitrite values for 10 brands of bottled water to ascertain the homogeneity of variances within and between the brands, suggested significant differences in variances across the brands at a 95% confidence level except for selenium, sodium and calcium.

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