Dasani bottled water has lethal drug that causes birth defects and death.
Hoax or Fact:
The message that keeps resurfacing online claims that Dasani, a brand of bottled water from the Coca-Cola Company contains a lethal drug that causes birth defects and even death. Dasani did have a questionable history, but as such, the amount of Potassium Chloride, the chemical constituent in question, does not cause any birth defects or lead to death.
Dasani was launched in the UK in February 2004, prior to which, an article in The Grocer trade magazine mentioned that the source of the Dasani brand water was in fact treated tap water from Sidcup, a suburban development in London. It was said that the tap water was processed by reverse osmosis, re-mineralized and sold under the Dasani brand name in the UK. Adding more to this, in March 2004, UK authorities found a concentration of bromate, a suspected human carcinogen, in the product that could be considered harmful when consumed in large quantities. Between these concerns, Coca-Cola recalled half a million bottles back then and pulled the Dasani brand from the UK market.
In United States
In United States, for Dasani bottled water, Coca-Cola uses tap water from local municipal water supplies, filters it by reverse osmosis, and adds trace amounts of minerals, including magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), potassium chloride and table salt (sodium chloride). Adding table salt (sodium chloride) to drinking water in limited quantities is certainly harmless, so let us consider the other two minerals.
About Potassium Chloride
Potassium Chloride is a metal halide salt used in medicine, scientific applications, food processing, as a sodium-free substitute for table salt (sodium chloride), and also as lethal injection. It is sometimes used in water as a completion fluid and also as an alternative to sodium chloride in household water softener units. Because of its weak, bitter and unsalty flavor, potassium chloride is usually mixed with ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) -- to improve the taste.
It is a fact that potassium chloride is used as a lethal drug, in some cardiac surgery procedures that cannot be carried out on the beating heart. In such cases, the surgical team will bypass the heart with a heart-lung machine and inject potassium chloride into the heart muscle to stop the heartbeat. However, the amount of potassium chloride used is the key here. As mentioned in an article on OpEdNews.com that raises these concerns, for potassium chloride to be toxic, a person has to consume more than 2500 mg/kg (of his weight) of KCl, which is an extremely large amount. The amount of KCl, which is less than 5 mg in each Dasani bottled water, is negligible according to FDA standards. Responding to these concerns, a representative from Coca-Cola stated that potassium chloride is added to their Dasani bottled water "because consumers prefer it."
About Magnesium Sulfate
Teratogen is any agent that can disturb the development of an embryo or fetus, causing birth defect in the child. Magnesium Sulfate is a mineral used as a flavor enhancer in bottled water in the U.S.A. Magnesium sulfate injection is approved for use in pre-eclampsia and eclampsia conditions during pregnancy.
In 2013, FDA issued safety measures against the use of magnesium sulfate injection to pregnant women for more than 5-7 days, as it may lead to low calcium levels and bone problems in the developing baby or fetus, including thin bones, called osteopenia, and bone breaks, called fractures. It was these teratogenic effects that raised concerns; the trace amounts of the mineral in bottled water, including that of Dasani brand do not cause harm.
In short, Coca Cola's Dasani bottled water does contain potassium chloride used as a lethal drug and magnesium sulfate having teratogenic effects (in large doses), but the minerals are added to water in trace amounts for the sake of taste, and are not known to cause any harm when consumed.