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Environ Geochem Health. 2009 Feb;31(1):27-45. doi: 10.1007/s10653-008-9153-1. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Inorganic chemicals in domestic water of the United Arab Emirates.

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  • 1Institute of Environment, Water and Energy, Ajman University of Science and Technology, Ajman, United Arab Emirates.


The concentration of selected inorganic chemicals was determined for 396 samples of bottled water, desalinated water, and groundwater used for drinking and domestic purposes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The objective of this study was to compare the concentrations of inorganic chemicals in different domestic water types used in the UAE with the World Health Organization (WHO) limits for drinking water. Results of the present study revealed a wide variation in the concentrations of major, minor, and trace inorganic chemicals in domestic water of the UAE. For example, the bottled water sold for drinking is depleted in major ions and the total dissolved solids (TDS) in some brands do not exceed 100 mg/l. On the other hand, some of the domestic water used may contain as much as 3,000 mg/l TDS, which is above the WHO recommended limit for drinking water (500-1,500 mg/l TDS). Similarly, while bottled water is almost free of trace ions and minor constituents, some natural groundwater may have concentrations higher than the WHO recommended limits for drinking water. The cause of this variation is related to the different water sources and the large number of companies producing and distributing drinking and domestic water. Moreover, it is clear that the current controls on domestic water quality in some areas, namely conformance of pH and electrical conductivity measurements with prescribed ranges of values, are currently inadequate. These two parameters are not enough to judge if water is suitable for drinking or not and some consumers may receive domestic water of uncertain quality.

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