Bottled Water and Disease in Pakistan

October 23/Islamabad, Pakistan/Right Vision News -- Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) says that 19 of the 66 brands of bottled or mineral water being sold in the country is unsafe for human consumption and may cause deadly diseases like cancer, cholera, diarrhea and heart diseases.

All samples were scientifically analysed at ISO-17025-accredited National Water Quality Laboratory in Islamabad for microbiological and physcio-chemical parameters according to international standards and permissible limits of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA).

Official sources said its findings were based on scientific analysis of samples of bottled water collected in 11 major cities across the country from April to June this year. Sources said that the unsafe brands of bottled water not only contained bacteriological contamination, but also arsenic, potassium, fluoride and sodium contents much beyond safe and permissible limits.

Reports said that the bacteriologically contaminated bottled water had the potential of causing cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid, while arsenic contamination could result incancers to lungs, bladder, skin, prostrate, kidney, nose and liver, besides diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases and birth defects.

According to official sources, overall 19 brands were found unsafe for human consumption, including 18 chemically and one microbiologically, while 47 brands were found safe. During the previous quarter (January-March), 33 brands were found unsafe.

The source also said that presence of potassium, fluoride and sodium beyond a certain limit could cause lung cancer, hyperkalemia, abnormal breakdown of protein, skeletal and dental flourosis and hypertension.

The brands with bacteriological and chemical contamination included Coozy, So Safe and Alfa (in Hyderabad and Karachi), Golden (in Quetta and Lahore), Pak Crystal, Light Water, Nation, Pan Pura, Clear, Fine Soul, Unique Water and Taiba (in Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Multan and Lahore), Fairmont and Omni (in Karachi), Niamat, Aqua National, Pacific and Lock (in Lahore) and Hunza (in Sialkot and Jhelum).

The survey revealed that although 47 brands were found safe in April-June period, only 30 were consistent with their presence in the market -- 33 brands disappeared from the market after March this year, but 36 new brands made their way into the market, indicating that some of them might have re-emerged with a new label after having been banned by the government.

The samples were collected in April from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sahiwal and Sialkot. Laboratory findings were compared with permissible limits of the Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority.

From the October 25, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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