J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2018 Dec;42(4):199-203. 10.11149/jkaoh.2018.42.4.199.

Fluoride content of bottled water available in South Korea

  • 1Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea. jsh0917@pusan.ac.kr
  • 2BK21 PLUS Project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea.
  • 3Periodontal Disease Signaling Network Research Center (MRC), Busan, Korea.


The market for bottled water is increasing steadily in South Korea. Bottled water contains several naturally occuring minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and fluoride. Fluoride is proven to be effective in preventing dental caries. In South Korea, the maximum permissible concentration of fluoride is 2 ppm for bottled water and 1.5 ppm for tap water. The aim of this study was to investigate the fluoride content of different commercially available brands of bottled water in South Korea, and compare the measured fluoride concentration to the concentration written on the label of each brand of bottled water.
Twenty-seven of the 59 different brands of bottled water produced in South Korea were investigated in this study. Three bottles of each brand were purchased from supermarkets, marts, and convenience stores in each region of Korea in August 2016. For each bottled water brand, the fluoride content was measured three times using a fluoride-ion selective electrode (Orion ionplus Fluoride Electrode 9609, Orion Research, USA). The calibration curve was generated using 0.2 and 2 ppm standard solutions, and confirmed using a 1 ppm standard solution.
The mean fluoride content of the 27 brands of bottled water was 0.374±0.332 mg/L (range=0.040 to 1.172 mg/L). The fluoride content was labeled by the manufacturer, on each of the tested brands of bottled water. In eight brands, the labeled fluoride content differed from the experimental data. The minimum to maximum fluoride content measured from 10 brands showed a variation of 0.3 mg/L or more when compared to the labeled fluoride content.
This study investigated the fluoride content of various brands of bottled water produced in South Korea and compared the measured fluoride levels with fluoride information on the bottle labels. To ensure that consumers are suitably informed regarding their exposure to fluoride, correct labelling of fluoride content in bottled water is important.


Drinking water; Fluorides; Minerals
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