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SFDA Clarification on Sodium and pH in Bottled Water


Referring to what is being communicated through social media regarding health benefits or damages of sodium and pH in bottled drinking water, Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) wishes to clarify that drinking water contains lower levels of sodium than other food products.
There is no limit to the level of sodium alone in the bottled drinking water within the approved Saudi-Gulf technical regulations and specifications as sodium is considered one of the total dissoluble salts (TDS). TDS consists of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, carbonates, nitrates, bicarbonates, chlorides and sulphates. The acceptable limits of total dissoluble salts combined together in bottled drinking water should be between (100-500) mg/L according to the Saudi-Gulf technical regulations. These limits have been set based on the degree of water taste palatability.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no recommended limit of dissoluble salts associated with a healthy effect. Additionally, the sodium contained in bottled drinking water is not a source of health concern for the average consumer who has no health problems. There is also no evidence of health benefits or damages resulting from the consumption of bottled drinking water with low levels of sodium.
In cases of low sodium diet, drinking water containing more than 20 mg/L (20 ppm) should be considered within sodium sources. 
The pH in bottled drinking water is the degree of water acidity or basicity. The permissible percentage of pH in bottled drinking water ranges between 6.5 and 8.5 according to the approved Saudi-Gulf technical regulations and specifications. There is no correlation with the increase or decrease in pH within the approved limits of any health benefits. 
SFDA emphasizes that all producers and importers of drinking water should not use any claims or practices misleading the consumers nor market it illegally through social media.
The authority also affirms that all bottled drinking water products must meet the safety and quality requirements set out in the approved Saudi-Gulf technical regulations and specifications. In case the authority finds that no bottled drinking water products meet the requirements, the necessary actions will be taken immediately to warning consumers about this water and the manufacturer will be suspended until the non-compliance is rectified.