During the last two decades there has been an influx of bottled mineral water, mostly used by offices at seminars and conferences. Mineral water cost has increased substantially in view of its growing demand. The main question is, is this water safe? According to the latest quarterly monitoring report issued by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), by the Ministry of Science & Technology, 68 samples of bottled water were collected from different parts of the country, out of which as many as 21 brands were found unsafe for human consumption.

The report also mentioned that out of these, 8 brands were found containing high level of Arsenic, ranging from 14-66 ppb, against permissible limit of 10 ppb, which is hazardous for health as it can cause cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases etc. Furthermore, another 8 brands were found contaminated microbiologically which could cause cholera, hepatitis, typhoid etc and three were found to have high levels of potassium, TDS etc.

In short not all mineral water being manufactured and sold is safe. In view of these alarming figures given above, it would be advisable that tap water or filtered water should be used as these were the safest. Big business houses and government offices should opt for some genesis energy water filter system instead of displaying one or another brand of bottled mineral water during their official and business meetings. Water filter system may appear costly but health is certainly and surely more precious.

DANIYAL NAJMI,

Lahore, May 14.