A Spanish study published earlier in 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry found no packaging constituents in bottled water above levels considered harmful for health by the authorities (Guart et al. 2014). As discussed in a summarizing article by Science Daily, the results regarding the chemical water quality were “better than expected”. Bottled waters sold on the Spanish market (94 different brands) were analyzed for levels of dimethyl phthalate (DMP; CAS 131-11-3), diethyl phthalate (DEP; CAS 84-66-2), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP; CAS 84-74-2), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP; CAS 85-68-7) and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP; CAS 117-81-7), bisphenol A (BPA; CAS 80-05-7), 4-nonylphenol (CAS 104-40-5), 4-tert-octylphenol (CAS 1806-26-4) and diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA; CAS 103-23-1). The waters were either bottled in glass with metallic crown, metallic screw or high density polyethylene (HDPE) screw caps, or in different types of plastic bottles with HDPE caps (polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC) or HDPE); one sample was packaged in a low density polyethylene (LDPE) bag. Samples were received directly from the respective filler, and one sample was analyzed immediately while the other was stored for one year in an external warehouse (protected from sunlight) to test for migration from the packaging material.
Most samples were free from the compounds of interest. Contamination in some glass bottles stored for 1 year was found to originate from the caps, while some of the different plastic materials showed migration from the bottle itself, as well as from the cap. Not all compounds of interest were detected in all samples, and individual levels were well below safety thresholds set by authorities. The study’s authors state that daily consumption of bottled waters can be considered safe, however this assessment is based (1) on a limited number of known, possible contaminants and (2) does not take the effect of the migrants’ mixture into account. Importantly, based on the results of the present study manufacturers can make improvements by selecting alternative packaging materials with less or no chemical migration from substances of concern, the study’s authors state.
Water quality in glass, plastic bottles: Better than expected in Spanish study. Science Daily (August 22, 2014) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822083907.htm
Guart, A. et al. (2014) “Effect of bottling and storage on the migration of plastic consitutents in Spanish bottled waters.” Food Chemistry. 156:73-80