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Calculations of deaths caused by magnesium-deficient bottled water in California

In 1992 the total bottled water consumption in the U. S. was about 2.2 billion gallons (1), and California's consumption of bottled water was about 660 million gallons.

Assuming that the total liquid consumption in the California (RDA) is 182.5 gallons per annum per person, that figure can be multiplied by about 30,000,000 population, which gives 5,475,000,000 gallons per annum of all liquids consumed in California. So in California bottled water accounted for about twelve percent of all liquids consumed, versus a national average of 5.4 percent (2).

There are two ways of calculating the number of deaths per annum in California due to magnesium-deficient bottled water.

Method #1. This method considers only the deaths of a small subset, limited by age and sex. Divide California's population of 30,000,000 by the U. S. population of 250,000,000 which gives twelve percent. Multiply .12 times the U.S. Deaths (subset) in 1994 from Mg deficiency (3) which is 225,898 and that gives 27,467. Then multiply that again by .12 (representing the proportion of bottled water to other drinks, and that gives 3,296 deaths per annum in California from magnesium-deficient bottled water. This method most certainly understates the total deaths in California from Mg-deficient bottled water.

Method #2. Multiply twelve percent (proportion of bottled water to other drinks) times California's population of 30,000,000 which gives 3,600,000. Multiply that by the projected death rate (3) of .003465, which gives 12,474 deaths per annum in California from magnesium-deficient bottled water. This method represents the entire population, including the high risk groups of infants and the aged. This method may overstate or understate the deaths, if the benchmark death rate should prove to be inapplicable to all age and sex group.

Summary: Annual deaths in California from magnesium-deficient bottled water are at least 3,296 (for a limited subset), and may exceed 12,474 (for the entire population).

June 17, 1994

Paul Mason, P.O. Box 1417, Patterson, CA 95363


1. Beverage Marketing Corp. Beverage World, Oct 93, p 48.

2. John C. Maxwell Jr., Wheat First Securities, Beverage Industry, 1993-1994 Annual Manual, p 12.

3. Mason, P., publication pending, Calculations of American Deaths from Magnesium Deficiency, As Projected from International Data, 1/5/94, p 2. Order from: Paul Mason, P. O. Box 1417, Patterson, CA 95363 USA. Available free.

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