bromate in bottled waterIn the last couple of decades, the global bottled water industry has grown exponentially with billions of gallons of bottled water being consumed around the globe. The profitability of this business has resulted in an explosion of companies jumping on the bandwagon of bottling water in plastic (and glass) bottles.

Most companies use ozone to disinfect drinking and bottled waters, the use of which can present a challenge to consumer health. The reason is that even though ozone is highly effective and does not remain in the water or change its taste, it does convert bromide present in water to bromate, which is recognized as a potential human carcinogen. Its concentration in drinking and bottled water is now regulated in many countries. For example, the U.S. EPA and the European Commission have set a maximum allowable bromate concentration in drinking water of 10 μg/L and in Europe, the limit has been lowered to 3 μg/L for bottled natural mineral and spring waters disinfected by ozonation.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, we have been leading the effort in developing ion chromatography (IC) methods for determining bromate and other oxyhalides in water. In fact, our products were instrumental in the development of the postcolumn derivatization techniques in U.S. EPA Method 317.0 and EPA Method 326.0 for enhanced determination of bromate.

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Here is a link to Application Note 208, Determination of Bromate in Bottled Mineral Water Using the CRD 300 Carbonate Removal Device (downloadable PDF). The advantage of the carbonate removal device is that it removes the majority of carbonate from the eluent and allows hydroxide-like performance and detection sensitivity.

Here is another application done by researchers at the Ministry of Science & Technology, Khartoum, Sudan, titled, Determination of Bromate at Trace Level in Sudanese Bottled Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography, (downloadable PDF) and uses our Thermo Scientific Dionex IonPac AS19 anion-exchange column which is specifically designed for the trace analysis of bromate in water and meets the performance requirements of US EPA Methods 300.0 and 300.1.

Do let us know which standards or chemicals you are testing for in bottled water in the comments section below.