Islamabad - Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority has revealed that nine brands of bottled water were found to be unsafe due to chemical and microbiological contamination.

These brands included i.e. Clean Plus, NICE, Blue Ice, Pacific Pure, Rise Water, Al-Shalal, Al-Safia, GEM Water and Do Aab 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 Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) for quarterly monitoring of bottled/mineral water brands and publicize the results, said a press release on Wednesday.

The poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water and due to 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.

According to the monitoring report for the quarter from July to September 2017, 104 samples of Mineral/Bottled water brands have been collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Peshawar, Multan, Lahore, Quetta, Bahawalpur, Tandojam, Karachi and Muzaffarabad.

Comparison of analytical findings with permissible limits of Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) has revealed that nine brands were found to be unsafe due to chemical and microbiological contaminations.

Out of those unsafe brands, four brands i.e. Clean Plus, NICE, Blue Ice and Pacific Pure have comparatively high levels of Arsenic ranging from 14-27 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. The five brands i.e. Rise Water, Al-Shalal, Al-Safia, GEM Water, and Do Aab Water were found to be unsafe due to microbiological contamination which may cause Cholera, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Hepatitis, Typhoid etc. Whereas two brands i.e. NICE and Pacific Pure were found unsafe due to the presence of higher levels of Sodium ranging from 82-130 ppm than PSQCA water quality standard for sodium (50 ppm).