ISLAMABAD: A monitoring report compiled by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has found 19 samples of bottles water unsafe while 13 samples containing the poisonous chemical arsenic.
The report was compiled during the April-June 2014 quarter using 111 samples of bottled water brands collected from 14 cities including Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Faisalabad.
A comparison of the analytical findings with Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) permissible limits has revealed that 19 brands were found to be unsafe due to chemical or microbiological contamination.
A more alarming finding of the report is that 13 of these 19 unsafe brands contained levels of arsenic far higher than PSQCA standards.
The remaining brands were found unsafe due to the presence of a high level of sodium and total dissolved solids (TDS).
Nation, Splish Aryana, Pure Fresh Water, New Deep, Fit, Alfa Blue, Sehat, Unique Water, Butt, Active, Aqua National, Natur Aqua and Cool were all found to have high levels of arsenic, a chemical that causes skin diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases birth defects, black foot diseases and multiple types of cancers.
Another five brands — Pure 99, Al Habib, Life, Spring Fresh and Lite Aqua — were been found to be unsafe due to microbiological contamination which can cause cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid.
PCRWR Library, Documentation and Information Centre Director Lubna Naheed Bukhari stated that the report has been sent to the PSQCA Director General for further action against the unsafe brands’ manufacturers.
She said that no remedial measures were being taken by the culprits.
“They do not even bother to change their installations or venue and continue such practices unabated,” she remarked.
Bukhari suggested that the manufacturers should consult PCRWR to help them remove dangerous contaminants as the council provides such facilities.