Islamabad - Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has announced that 10 bottled water brands in the country are found to be unsafe due to chemical or microbiological contamination.

The PCRWR, a department of ministry of science and technology (MoST), has been tasked for quarterly monitoring of bottled/mineral water brands and publicise the results to improve quality of bottled water and after comparison of analytical findings with permissible limits of Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) the ten brands including Dewan Water Express, Aqua National, Natur Aqua, Butt Water, Best Natural, Noble, AFRA, NASH, Aftab Qarshi and Ideal Life were found unsafe.

According to monitoring report for quarter October-December 2014, seventy six (76) samples of mineral/bottled water brands have been collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Tando Jam, Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar.

Out of the ten unsafe brands, four brands (Aqua National, Natur Aqua, Butt Water, Best Natural) have comparatively high level of Arsenic ranging from 27-57 ppb than PSQCA water quality standard for arsenic (10 ppb), says a press release issued here on Thursday.

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. whereas two brands (Aftab Qarshi & Ideal Life) were found to be unsafe due to microbiological contamination which may cause cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid etc.

The remaining brands were found unsafe due to presence of higher levels of sodium, potassium and TDS. The national quality control/surveillance authorities are asked to take legal actions against the companies which are supplying contaminated bottled water to public and playing havoc with their health.