Recently,many water giants have accepted that they sell nothing but tap water. Evocative brand names and labels depicting pastoral scenes have somehow convinced us that their water product is the purest drink around. Yes, branded bottled water is refreshing, calorie-free, convenient to carry around and a lot healthier than sugary soft drinks. But, no one thinks if whether it is better regulated, better protected or safer than tap. Sure, some bottled water comes from sparkling springs and other pristine sources, but more than 25 percent of it comes from a municipal supply. The water is treated, purified and sold to us, often at a hugely high price. Most people are surprised to learn that they’re drinking glorified tap water and bottlers aren’t required to list the source on the label.
This matter has taken hype internationally. In one case, a brand of bottled water, advertised as “pure, glacier water,” was found to be taken from a municipal water supply while another brand, flaunted as “spring water,” was pumped from a water source next to a hazardous waste dumping site in Alaska, U.S.A. What we still don’t realize is that some bottled water may not be as pure as we think.
According to monitoring report of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) for the quarter April-June, 2013, 86 samples of Mineral/Bottled water brands were collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, and many other major cities of Pakistan. Comparison of the findings with permissible limits of Pakistan Standard Quality & Control Authority (PSQCA) revealed that 27 brands were found unsafe due to chemical or microbiological contamination. Of those 27 unsafe brands, around 12 brands of bottled water contained high level of Arsenic which is used to make plastic softer, ranging from 12-44 ppb (parts per billion) while the permissible limit is 10 and10 brands were found unsafe due to microbiological. The remaining brands were found unsafe due to the presence of higher levels of sodium, potassium or fluoride.
If these brands don’t offer water as pure as we expect it to be, then it might be tastier than tap water? But no, in a survey conducted by an American television show ‘Good Morning America’ the audience was blindfolded and made to taste both, the tap water and the branded bottled water. Surprisingly, they chose tap water over the branded water in taste.
While drinking pure water is essential for humans to develop and grow healthily, the chemicals and impurities these bottles contain can cause various types of diseases including skin, kidney, heart diseases, diabetes, typhoid, blue baby syndrome, Down syndrome, hepatitis, cholera, dysentery, diarrhea and multiple types of cancers.
If you still think that these brands bottle healthy water, as they boast. RETHINK!