Canadian Food Inspection Agency tests hundreds of bottled water samples for bromate - 100% found safe for human consumption

August 23, 2012, Ottawa: A study released today by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has found that 100% of bottled water samples tested for bromate were safe for consumption. This is just another example of the routine testing performed by the CFIA in their ongoing efforts to keep the Canadian food system safe for consumers.

The CFIA tested 288 samples of domestic and imported bottled spring waters, mineral waters and purified waters collected in 11 Canadian cities in 2010-2011. The majority of the samples tested, or 250, contained no detectable levels of bromate. Of the remaining 38 samples, only six exceeded the Canadian Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality of 10 ppb. Further assessment of these six samples determined that they would not pose a health risk, and no recalls were required.

Bromate is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in water from runoff, leaching or seawater intrusion. It can also be formed during the ozonation process used to purify and disinfect bottled water. Generally, the detection of elevated levels of contaminants, such as bromate, indicates that further assessment is needed. Health Canada’s follow-up assessment determines if the specific level poses a health risk, based on the contaminant’s level, expected frequency of exposure and contribution to overall diet. These factors help determine whether further action is needed, up to and including product seizure and/or recall.

The CFIA routinely tests various food products for specific hazards to determine whether they pose a potential health risk to consumers. If a human health risk is found, a public recall notice is issued immediately.

Further information on this survey report is available on the CFIA website.

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Media relations: 613-773-6600

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