ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) on Thursday identified 22 brands of bottled water as unsafe for human consumption.
The government, through the Ministry of Science and Technology has assigned the task to the PCRWR for quarterly monitoring of bottled or mineral water brands and publicising the results in the best interest of public health.
For the last quarter from April to June, 180 samples of mineral or bottled water brands were collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha, Sialkot, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Mianwali, Karachi, Tandojam, Badin, Quetta, Loralai, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit. Comparison of test results with permissible limits of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) revealed that 22 brands were not safe for drinking.
Fifteen brands such as Pure, Hunza, Hidrade, Blue Plus, Sunlay, Aqua King, Spring Fresh Life, UF Pur Edge, Douro, Dropice, Puricana Mineral, Drops, Best Natural, Al Barkah Water and Koyo were found to be unsafe due to presence of higher levels of sodium ranging from 60-165 mg/L than PSQCA bottled water quality standard for Sodium, which was 50 mg/L.
One brand called Drops was found unsafe due to the presence of a higher level of total dissolved solids (TDS) ranging 629 mg/L than PSQCA water quality standard for TDS, which was 500 mg/L.
One brand named Pure Nature was found unsafe due to the presence of 24 µg/L arsenic against 10 µg/L arsenic permissible under PSQCA water quality standard.
Another brand named Pure was found unsafe due to the presence of 11 mg/L potassium against 10 mg/L permissible under PSQCA water quality standard for potassium.
However, six brands such as Alkaline Water, Al-Umer, BROOK, McWay Water, Masafi and Aqua Best were found microbiologically contaminated and declared unsafe for drinking.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2021