Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) declared 11 mineral water brands unsafe due to chemical and microbiological contaminations.
According to the monitoring report for the quarter from October to December, 2016, these 11 brands included Well Care, Lite Aqua, New Premier, Royal Blue, Aqua Safe, Aqua Drink Water, Rahat, Oslo, NG Fresh Water, Nurturmil Water and Aab e Khoob.
The council collected 78 samples of Mineral/Bottled water brands from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Quetta, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad Faisalabad, Sargodha, Multan, Lahore and Tando Jam for comparison of analytical findings with permissible limits of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), an official of PCRWR told media.
Out of those unsafe brands, seven brands including Well Care, Lite Aqua, New Premier, Royal Blue, Aqua Safe, Aqua Drink Water and Rahat have comparatively high levels of Arsenic ranging from 12-34 ppb than PSQCA water quality standard for arsenic (10 ppb).
The excessive level of arsenic can cause various types of skin diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases birth defects, black foot diseases and multiple types of cancers etc, he informed.
The four brands Well Care, NG Fresh Water, Oslo, New Premier were found unsafe due to the presence of higher levels of Sodium ranging from 68-165 ppb than PSQCA water quality standard for sodium (50 ppb) and one brand (Nurturmil Water) was found unsafe due to the presence of higher level of Potassium.
Whereas one brand (Aab e Khoob) was found to be unsafe due to microbiological contamination which may cause Cholera, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Hepatitis, Typhoid etc., he added.
He stated that the poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water. As a consequence of this expanding market a mushroom growth of bottled water industry in the country is witnessed during the last few years.
However, many of the mineral/bottled water companies were found selling contaminated water.
To monitor and improve the quality of bottled water, the Government of Pakistan through Ministry of Science and Technology has designated the task to PCRWR for quarterly monitoring of bottled/mineral water brands and publicize the results.