Sci Total Environ. 2012 Feb 1 ;416:527-31. Epub 2011 Dec 2. PMID: 22137651

Abstract Title: 

Nicotine occurrence in bottled mineral water: analysis of 10 brands of water in Spain.


The presence of pharmaceuticals in surface and drinking water has been evidenced in numerous studies. Despite representing one of the most common consumption sources, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the presence of pharmaceutical compounds in bottled mineral water. Pollution of these sources not only could pose a serious human health risk, but would also warn about the quality of the water in our aquifers, a vital and vulnerable source of water, essential for the future water supply. Fifty eight pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) belonging to the 12 main therapeutic groups were analyzed in 10 bottled mineral water brands produced in Spain. Nicotine was detected in concentrations ranging from 7ngL(-1) to 15ngL(-1) in 5 of 10 bottled mineral waters. Despite the low nicotine concentration measured, the presence of this compound in bottled water still raises concern. Health risk assessment researchers have postulated that the risk to adult healthy humans from oral intake of nicotine at low levels is negligible. However, no studies have been conducted to assess the human health risk of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and newborns. This population is the target of advertising on the purity and quality characteristics of bottled mineral water.