Scientist Sees Relations Between Water and Chronic Diseases in Brazil

A glass of waterCoordinated by Milton Matta, a geologist at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), in a partnership with the University Medical Center, a study is investigating the possible relationship between the water that Amazon region residents drink, especially in the state of Pará, and the incidence of chronic diseases, such as gastric disorders and cancers of the stomach and digestive tract.

Matta’s research has also raised questions about the quality of mineral water in the region.

According to the scientist, the natural acidity of waters in the Amazon, verified in studies by the Laboratory of Water Resources and Environment at UFPA, may be the reason for many health problems in the region.

“As determined by current legislation, safe drinking water is supposed to have a level of acidity, the pH measurement, between 7 and 9. Water in the Amazon has a pH of 4, which puts it, so to speak, outside the law. And the pH 4 level is found not only in tap water, but in Amazon region mineral water, as well,” explains Matta (during his research project he measured the pH of four mineral water brands that come from the state of Pará).

Legislation on the quality of mineral water is regulated in Brazil by the National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM) and the superintendent of the department in Belém, capital of the state of Pará, Every Aquino, disagrees with Matta’s conclusions.

He says there are no health problems due to the water people drink in the Amazon region. And then he slightly sidetracks the discussion on health to one on mineral water quality and labeling.

“There is some confusion regarding the analysis of the mineral water produced in our area. The samples in this report came directly from the source (spring) and were not treated, there was no addition of mineral salts, nothing. Our water is examined and classified by qualified professionals,” says the superintendent, adding that laboratories in Brazilian capital Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro do the testing.

Aquino points out that the old Water Code of 1945 required mineral water to have “medicinal properties,” but that was modified by more recent legislation, Resolution 274 of 2005, by the Brazilian equivalent of the Center for Disease Control (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária  – Anvisa). The new rules are that the presence of mineral salts is sufficient for water to be classified as mineral water.

Meanwhile, government attorneys say they will file a lawsuit calling for changes in the labeling of mineral water in Pará because some of it is just bottled tap water.



  • Show Comments (9)

  • Jamesddd


    Will the middle class of the US collapse down to the Brasil standards of the majority? I don’t know. However, I think that America and the developed world are in for some tough times the likes of which most of us have never seen before. If you add up all the debts in America, government debt, mortgage debt, credit card debt etc the percentage of debt to GDP in America is 360%, and it’s going higher. The last time the debt as a percentage of GDP ever came close to resembling like that was 1929 when it was 260% of GDP. A system like this has to collapse at some point. And if you consider that if you add the up the GDP of all of Europe, the United States and Japan it’s about 38 trillion, now add up the debt of all those countries and it’s about 36 trillion. It has to come collapsing down at some point, and I am fairly confident it will. Japan has the most government debt of any nation standing at 200% of GDP. The difference is that their GDP is internal, but even that advantage can’t last forever.

    If the global economy collapses (I think it will at some point if you just look at the amount of debt in the system) will Brazil be ok, contrary to what Lula says when he opens his mouth I don’t think so. Brazilians don’t make enough to power a consumer based economy, and their already in the most debt that they have ever been in, and a lot of them took the money from that government program called Bolsa Familia and spent it on a cell phone or some gadget which they had never had before. If I saw their wages doubling every 5-7 years like they did in America after the great post world war II boom that ended in the 70’s then I would say that the Brazilians could consume and save at the same time, but I don’t see that.

    There is a good book I highly recommend reading called Empire of Debt. It was written in 2006 and they wrote a follow up version in 2009 but the 2006 version is better. The authors are Addison Wiggin and Bill Bonner.
    You should also check out the daily news letter called The Daily Reckoning.

  • Jamesddd

    Yes, I am aware that The U.S. is the largest debtor in the the world in dollar terms. That’s why I came to Brazil because I think the U.S. is headed for complete collapse at some point and could take the rest of the world down with it. I was reading how Brazil is booming and how there is going to a lot of opportunity here, that’s why I came here. After being here for six months I can see that Brazil is all hype.

  • Jamesddd


    I’m agreeing with you. I think the hype over Brazil is just that hype. I don’t ever see Brazil becoming a world power and growing a vibrant middle class. But wait a second on the debt question. Isn’t there government debt at 40% of GDP and it is mostly internal which means it is denominated in their own currency.

  • Jamesddd


    I like your posts, they have a lot of truth to them. I’ve been living in Brazil for 6 months now and definitely see there is a group of people (that President Lula caters to) that are anti-American and anti-West. This large anti-American/anti-West faction has developed because Brazil had and still has to some extent all the potential in the world. They were given the same gifts as America, rich natural resources and a large European population yet they never lived up to there potential.
    I’m American and I’ll be the first one to tell anybody that Americans need to tone it down a notch in the world and that George Bush was the worst president ever, but there are plenty of arrogant Brazilians who think they have the greatest country in the world and that they still are the country of the future. I just don’t see it. I haven’t found one middle or upper class Brazilian that has said that they would never use a public school here in Brazil because they don’t want their kids to grow up and become a looser. I don’t know any nation that can call themselves prosperous or has any type of future where if you go to a public school for your primary and high school education your life is already decided.

  • SImpleton

    Uma coisa pertaining to the article e mais
    I know a very large family spread out in a few different locales in Rio that the principle cause of death, which I would have assumed was genentic, is in regards to chronic stomache / digestive track disorders. Was it the water? I think they are all tapped into the big pipe running down from Petropolis through Xerem but without any down hill treatment. Be careful with your limaos too, they can carry a nasty virus as I was told by someone who suffered greatly.

    Personal debt defense – with the market volatility and lies regarding the economic recovery in process I’m hoping I will be lucky enough to get a chance to sell out and just plain pay off the mortgage. I have a rather unique property but I surely wouldn’t want to try to market it just yet – thus my blinders and hope that things will normalize and improve going forward. I don’t owe anything on the four vehicles and have no other outstanding loans / debts so food, clothing, utilities, health care and property taxes are the only major concerns in the long term.

    The utilities and health care expenses in my neck of the woods are outrageous but that’s because of some of the incredibly stupid moves the PACs allowed (and may actually have encouraged) some years ago thinking they were facilitating making things cheaper in the long run. Sorry, but when you allow the electric company to buy the gas company (whose product is piped in from afar) and then authorize the construction and use of gas fired generators to meet the electrical demand you create unfair supply / demand competition that the end consumer can’t win. Ditto on allowing super-conglomeration over hospital and medical services ownership. When things condense down to effectively one brand name available in major metropolitan areas the price is going to shoot up for sure.

    Unions? Who is really served by that? The GM retirees who did so a number of years back are going to be freaking flying high on the hog as compared to the rest of us. They are also going to get the same share of what little relief the unfortunate turn to socialism provides, something that is slowly but surely coming along. Can anyone tell me where my 100% loss in value of my misfortunate investment in GM actually went? Who is next? GE? T? Intel?

    Making an investment to set up a viable microempressa and moving to Brasil seems good to me even if it doesn’t make much if any profits. There will always be relatively inexpensive workers available (although midwestern work ethics might be a bit difficult to instil in them) and a handful of bright young studious pobres that could be given a leg up with some after school educational opportunities.

  • SImpleton

    Collapse into what?
    Hey there Jamesddd, the middle class of the US won’t do well colapsing down to Brasil standards of the majority of the populace. Things will get rather nasty and much more dangerous here than there if that happens. Although I will keep my blinders on for a bit and continue to think that that is bloody unlikely to occur, I’d still rather be there than here. BTW, how did you manage to stay over the six month limit? Brasilian born? Brasilian wife? Brasilian kid? Pursuing an investor visa? Retirement immigration? If you went in on a tourist or business visa, take care and keep your head down. Europeans tend to be able to get away with that if they have money up the wazzu (and the right connections with those willing to take it or pass it to the right folks in order not to get fined steeply and deported), gringos generally don’t. If you are on a work visa watch out for the tax bite on your worldwide income that cuts in at 183 days.

  • Eldon

    Did you know the U.S. borrows money from China and a lot of it

  • ch.c.

    To Jamesddd and your Brazil……rich natural resources
    Ohhhh Yeahhhhhh ! You are a typical average American in view of your comments.
    To my knowledge Venezuela has even far more proven oil reserves than Brazil “potential” wildest dreams.
    Same for Iran.
    Same for Russia, the World Largest oil producer.

    Stupid question Gringo : are these countries wealthy and developed ?
    When will they be….in your view ? Hmmmmmmm !

    On the other hand of the chain…there is Switzerland (and other countries as well such as Japan etc etc.)
    We have Noooo oil or natural gaz. No minerals resources. And territory 60 % mountainous.

    And believe it or not (:D) one of the wealthiest country on earth !

    Think about it A FEW TIMES MORE if natural resources really makes countries wealthy & DEVELOPED !

    The latest emerging country that has been named DEVELOPED is Israel.
    Not with a lot of natural resources.

    One of the next country that will go from emerging to developed, in my view, is going to be….SOUTH KOREA !
    Not with a lot of natural resources either.

    And in South America, in the next 2 decades or so, its going to be CHILE ! Agreed…..they have copper, but that is nearly it !

    But….but….but….there is great money to be made in Brazil. NO DOUBT !
    Foreign companies and foreign individuals…are going to get WEALTHIER….with their investments in Brazil…and elsewhere.
    But not so much for Brazilians companies and individuals. WHY ?
    Because they have Nooooo MONEY (CAPITAL).

    Even their governments have to borrow IN FOREIGN CURRENCIES.
    Do developed nations governments borrow in Foreign Currencies ?


  • ch.c.

    Scientist Sees Relations Between Water and Chronic Diseases in Brazil
    I am NOT a Scientist—-and I KNEW !!!!!

    Viva the Braz-zeroesssssss SCIENTISTS trained at the Braz-zeroesssss UNIVERSITIES !

    “touristas” are NOT only for Foreigners travelling in countries with Nooooo or at best dubious sanitation infrastructure.

    “touristas” are also for locals.

    Tell your “SCIENTISTS” to return to Primary Schools….in a developed nation.
    Far superior to Braz-zeroes Universities.

    And tell Nestlé to produce more bottled water, and Veolia (France) to build more water treatment plants. Because it is not going to happen from your own companies.

    Lets face it, the Braz-zeroessss defecations pollute a hell of a lot more your own soil than BP in the Gulf of Mexico !

    Anyway…. CHEERS !

    Still many rosy years ahead for SWISS pharma companies.


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