Water Sanitation Health

Chemical hazards in drinking-water - Beryllium

Rolling revision of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality

Beryllium is included in the plan of work of the rolling revision of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. The background document and a summary statement for the 4th Edition are now available.


WHO has received correspondence noting that although the GDWQ state that beryllium is unlikely to be present in drinking-water, geological studies over the past five years have shown concentrations ranging from <0.005 to 2.7 µg/litre (median 0.01 µg/litre) across Europe.

Expected end-product(s)

Background document and summary statement, for the Fourth Edition.

Progress to date

The GDWQ WG meeting (Geneva, 2005) agreed on a plan of work. The GDWQ WG meeting (Geneva, 2006) expressed the need for occurrence data before a background document could be prepared. The GDWQ WG meeting (Berlin, 2007) decided to proceed with a background document, as beryllium occurrence data for the USA and elsewhere were identified. The GDWQ WG meeting (Singapore, 2008) agreed that the background document, when revised as suggested at the meeting, would be ready for peer and public review.

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