Acetaldehyde in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottledwater: Assessment and mitigation of health risk for consumers

Andrea Re Depaolini, Elena Fattore, Giancarlo Bianchi, Roberto Fanelli, Enrico Davoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to investigate the levels of acetaldehyde residues in polyethylene terephthalate bottled water and its significance in terms of consumer health. We analyzed 104 samples collected throughout Italy, so as to be representative of the national market. Parameters such as CO2 level, shelf life, weight of the empty bottle and distance from the production sites to the point of sale were also collected. Although the levels of acetaldehyde complied with the limits established by Italian legislation, they varied widely, with concentrations ranging from 0.41 to 76.2 μg/L. An assessment of safety for human health, using the margin of exposure approach, showed that the amount of acetaldehyde in bottled water is unlikely to be of any safety concern for human health. The acetaldehyde residues were mainly due to CO2 levels which influence solubility of acetaldehyde in water. They are also related to the size of the bottle and the distance from the store, but not to the shelf life, at least for 40 days. The findings suggest some good practices for a better product from the point of view of public health, like polymer quality and limitation of transport distances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4321
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Acetaldehyde
  • Margin of exposure
  • PET bottles
  • Public health
  • Risk assessment
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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