LAHORE – Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has declared 42 mineral water brands unsafe for drinking due to chemical and microbiological contaminations.
According to the latest monitoring report for the quarter from October to December 2016, water samples obtained from most of the said 124 brands contained abnormally high contents of arsenic while micrological bacteria, sodium and ootassium were also detected at a considerably higher unsafe levels.
Of the 42 brands, 12 contained high carcinogenic elements while 30 others were not as per recommended nutrition levels by experts.
As many as 7 of the mineral water firms (Well Care, Lite Aqua, New Premier, Royal Blue, Aqua Safe, Aqua Drink Water, Rahat) contained arsenic at a level ranging from 12 to 34 PPB as compared to PSQCA water quality standard for arsenic (10 ppb) which directly poses a threat to health.
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.
The 4 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 ppm than PSQCA safe levels for sodium (50 ppm).
Another brand (Nurturmil Water) was found unsafe due to the presence of higher level of potassium.
The research authority collected 124 samples of water from mineral/bottled water brands from different cities including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Quetta, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Multan, Lahore and Tando Jam.
Three types of tests were performed after collection of samples including arsenic test, microbiological test and detection of sodium, potassium in water and the report confirmed that water from 42 brands was found unsafe for drinking purposes.
Unsafe brands as per PCRWR findings are as under, out of these 10 are chemically unsafe whereas Aab-e-Khoob was found biologically risky.
The authority has reportedly forwarded the report to provincial and federal administrations for stern action.