ISLAMABAD: At least eight brands of bottled water commonly available in markets across Pakistan have been declared unsafe for human consumption by the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR).
The PCRWR has advised people to refrain from the brands that are: Edlen Premium, Aqua Fine, Pure Aqua, Livon, Zam, Aqua Gold, Pure 18, and Aab-e-Noor. They are found to be unsafe due to both chemical and microbiological contamination.
The PCRWR quarterly reviews quality of bottled/mineral water brands and publicise results.
The authority collected 110 samples of mineral/bottled water brands from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Multan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Tandojam, Quetta and Karachi for examination.
Among the unsafe brands, the PCRWR said Aqua Fine had high levels of arsenic with 20 parts per billion (ppb) against 10 ppb permissible under the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority water quality standard.
It warned that the excessive level of arsenic could cause various types of skin diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases, birth defects, black foot diseases and multiple types of cancers, etc.
The contamination in the eight brands, according to PCRWR may cause cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid, etc.