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Sci Total Environ. 2009 Feb 15;407(5):1658-68. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.10.057. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

A survey of organic contaminants in household and bottled drinking waters in Kuwait.

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Chemical Engineering Technology Department, College of Technological Studies, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), P. O. Box 97 Dasman, 15451 Kuwait.


Chemical analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semivolatiles (SVs), including pesticides, was performed on 623 and 568 samples, respectively, of household drinking water, as well as on 113 samples from 71 brands of bottled water available in Kuwaiti markets. The analysis was performed according to United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) Methods 524.2 and 525.2. Nine VOCs and eight SVs were found in household water. Furthermore, between one and seven of 12 VOCs were detected in 93% of the bottled water brands. All bottled waters were found to be completely free of SVs. Styrene was the main pollutant found in all brands packaged in polystyrene containers of sizes 200-mL and 250-mL, with levels generally higher than the WHO guideline value of 20 microg/L. The levels of styrene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes were found to increase with storage time, which indicates that these VOCs were migrating from the container material. No effect was detected due to changes in the storage temperature. All detected VOCs and SVs in household and bottled waters, except styrene, were found at concentrations much lower than those established as safe by WHO guidelines and US-EPA maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), respectively.

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