One of the problems that mineral water bottling companies are faced with is how to ensure that the product is free of
biological contaminants. We have been presented with cases where a growth of moss protonema had developed in bottles of
still mineral water that had been stored in the light for several months after bottling. The growth supposedly originated
from spores that had entered the product at some stage of production.
It is well known that certain algae are toxic, but is there any evidence (published or unpublished) that mosses (spores
and protonema's) could pose a health risk if present in mineral water or drinking water in general?
H.J. Sluiman (h.sluiman at rbge.org.uk)
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
20A Inverleith Row
Edinburgh EH3 5LR