The common factor between an inmate on his journey down death row and individuals purchasing Dasani bottled water is both consume Potassium Chloride. During the process of lethal injection a convict will go through three stages before being confirmed dead by a doctor.

These are the stages of a typical lethal injection:

  1. You receive a barbiturate to cause unconsciousness.
  2. Next you will receive a paralytic agent such as Pavulon (pancuronium bromide) to paralyze the muscles and cause respiratory arrest.
  3. The final phase of the process is the administration of Potassium Chloride to stop the heart.


I recently learned that Coca Cola’s Dasani bottled water has an ingredient used during the process of lethal Injection with the difference being the dosage. Obviously we can argue that the concentration to a convict on death row is much higher than what you would find in a bottle of Dasani but the question is “Why is that even in there?” and how is this not considered water pollution?

So why is Potassium Chloride of any amount in Dasani?

A student from Oregon University went on a mission to find out from Coca Cola why exactly this ingredient was being added to their bottled water. The question was posed a few times to different representatives and he received very different answers.

Coca Cola Party Line response was…

Potassium is a mineral found in a variety of natural foods and it is needed for your body to function properly. The reason you may see Potassium Chloride (KCl) as an ingredient in bottled waters is to help replenish a person’s natural potassium stores. The amount of KCl a person consumes through food and beverage consumption is much less than is necessary for it to be harmful to a person’s health. In order for KCl to be toxic, a person would have to consume more than 2500 mg/kg of KCl, which is an extremely large amount of KCl.

Coca Cola representative stated…

Potassium chloride is added to their Dasani bottled water “because consumers prefer it.” Ray Crockett of Coca Cola, told Sun News last week that “the amount of KCL is tiny; there are no health effects for anybody, and that it is added for taste and to satisfy customer preference.”  After conducting several taste-test studies, the results showed that consumers prefer water with the mineral (Potassium chloride) than without it. The representative stated that the amount of KCl in the Dasani water is negligible according to FDA standards. This means there is less than 5 mg of KCl in each bottle of water.

So what do we make of this?

Apparently they are following the rules set out by the FDA but is it possible suffer side effects from drinking too much Dasani water in one day? According to The EFSA Journal (2005) 193, 1-19 it says that 3mg – 5mg are not lethal, however, 5 mg are enough to cause some people gastrointestinal issues on page 1 as you can see in the text below.


It would be safe to assume that if 5mg can cause some healthy adults to experience side effects, what about people who are consuming 5 to 6 bottles per day as their only source of water? Its a pretty safe bet that there are a few individuals out there causing themselves health problems without even knowing it. Coca Cola is covered by the FDA regulation, however, if you find yourself experiencing some of the following problems and you drink Dasani you might want to rethink what your consuming.

Side effects from overdosing

  • Heavy feeling in your arms or legs
  • Confusion
  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Slow or uneven heartbeat (that would make sense since its stops your hearth on death row)
  • Seizures
  • Feeling faint or dizzy

Legally Coca Cola is following all necessary laws but this wouldn’t be the first time a company met all the necessary safety regulations and injured many knowingly and unknowingly… With that being said, start reading the labels of your food and understanding their are different forms of water pollution and this one is added for that “Crisp taste”.