Symposium To Examine Magnesium, Calcium in Drinking Water

The International Symposium on Health Aspects of Magnesium and Calcium in Drinking Water will be held on April 24-26, 2006, in Baltimore and will be followed by a key meeting of WHO experts.

A 2003 committee report to WHO on nutrition and drinking water concluded that epidemiological studies on cardiovascular disease (CVD) indicated that there may be health benefits to those who consume drinking water containing magnesium and calcium. The primary area of focus will be the relationship between calcium and magnesium in drinking water on certain cardiovascular disease and other health conditions, such as osteoporosis. Additional topics will include the epidemiology, dietary intake, biochemistry and health effects of magnesium and calcium as well as the practical concerns, such as treatment technology and costs associated with adding magnesium and calcium to drinking water.

The symposium will feature technical papers and discussions with international experts on drinking water composition, mineralization, epidemiology, physiological mechanisms, nutrition, water treatment and public health. Speakers will include Dr. Gerald Combs, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center, Dr. William Weglicki, professor of physiology and experimental medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Dr. Regu P. Regunathan, president ReguNathan & Associates and member of EPA's National Drinking Water Advisory Council. Professionals from medical, public health, nutrition and dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and water treatment industries will be among those in attendance.

"The prevalence of natural hard and soft water supplies, bottled water of various types, and the increased use of reverse osmosis and desalination technology, as well as water softeners and other technologies that have the ability to remove calcium and magnesium in drinking water, makes this a timely symposium that could affect all segments of the drinking water community," said Stan Hazan, senior director of regulatory affairs at NSF International. "This symposium will convene key experts and create an interactive forum for an in-depth analysis of the potential benefits of magnesium and calcium in drinking water."

To participate in the symposium as a sponsor or attendee, to submit a poster or for more information, please visit or call Dr. Joe Cotruvo at (202) 362-3076.

Immediately after the symposium, a WHO expert meeting will convene to examine the information that is presented and prepare recommendations to the organization.

This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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