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Health risks from drinking demineralized water

Author: Time: 07/07/2016 Read: 1099

Thanks to epidemiology and advances in microbiology and chemistry since the 19th century, numerous waterborne disease causative agents have been identified. The knowledge that water may contain some constituents that are undesirable is the point of departure for establishing guidelines and regulations for drinking water quality. Maximum acceptable concentrations of inorganic and organic substances and microorganisms have been established internationally and in many countries to assure the safety of drinking water.
 
Drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals (and other components such as carbonates). Unfortunately, over the two past decades, little research attention has been given to the beneficial or protective effects of drinking water substances. The main focus was on contaminants and their toxicological properties. Nevertheless, some studies have attempted to define the minimum content of essential elements or TDS in drinking water, and some countries have included requirements or guidelines for selected substances in their drinking water regulations. Although these are exceptional cases, the issue is relevant not only where drinking water is obtained by desalination (if not adequately re-mineralized) but also where home treatment or central water treatment reduces the content of important minerals and low-mineral bottled water is consumed.
 
International and national authorities responsible for drinking water quality should consider guidelines for desalination water treatment, specifying the minimum content of the relevant elements such as calcium and magnesium and TDS. If additional research is required to establish guidelines, these authorities should promote targeted research in this field to elaborate the health benefits. If guidelines are established for substances that should be in demineralized water, authorities should ensure that the guidelines also apply to uses of certain home treatment devices and bottled waters.