Worldwide bottled water occurrence of emerging contaminants: A review of the recent scientific literature

By Razegheh Akhbarizadeh, Sina Dobaradaran, Torsten C Schmidt, Iraj Nabipour, and Jörg Spitz
J. Hazard. Mater.
April 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.122271

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) have recently been detected in bottled water and have brought about discussions on possible risks for human health. However, a systematic review of CECs in bottled water is currently lacking due to the relatively new introduction and/or detection of these pollutants. Hence, this paper reviews the existing studies on the presence of six major groups of emerging contaminants including microplastics (MPs), pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, alkylphenols (APs), and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in bottled water from different countries. Also, the findings related to CECs' levels, their possible sources, and their risks are summarized. The gathered data indicate that MPs within the size range of 1-5 μm are the most predominant and potentially toxic classes of MPs in bottled water. In addition, PPCPs, PFASs, APs, and BPA occur in concentration levels of ng/L, while phthalates occur in the μg/L level in bottled water. The bottle type plays an important role in the contamination level. As expected, water in plastic bottles with plastic caps is more polluted than in glass bottles. However, other sources of contamination such as contact materials during cleaning, bottling, and storage are not negligible. Based on the gathered data in this review, the CEC levels except for MPs (no threshold values) in bottled water of most countries do not raise a safety concern for the human. However, the occurrence of individual CECs and their association in bottled water need more accurate data to understand their own/synergistic effects on human health.

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