The poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water. As a 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. To monitor and improve the quality of bottled water, the Government of Pakistan through Ministry of Science and Technology has designated the task to PCRWR for quarterly monitoring of bottled/mineral water brands and publicize the results. According to the monitoring report for the quarter from July to September, 2018, 118 samples of Mineral/Bottled water brands have been collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Peshawar, Multan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Tandojam, Quetta and Karachi. Comparison of analytical findings with permissible limits of Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) has revealed that 9 brands (i.e. Pure Water, Plus Piyaas, 3 Star, Douro, Real Plus, Pure It, Elayn Plus, Crystal Maya and Aqua Saad) were found to be unsafe due to chemical and microbiological contaminations. Out of those unsafe brands, 1 brand (i.e. Plus Piyaas) has comparatively high levels of Arsenic i.e. 15 ppb exceeding than PSQCA bottled water standard for arsenic of 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 3 brands (i.e. Elayn Plus, Crystal Maya and Aqua Saad) were found to be unsafe due to microbiological contamination which may cause Cholera, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Hepatitis, Typhoid etc. Whereas 4 brands (i.e. Pure Water, 3 Star, Douro and Real Plus) were found unsafe due to the presence of higher levels of Sodium ranging from 60-115 ppm and 1 brand (i.e. Pure It) was found unsafe due to the presence of higher levels of Fluoride i.e. 1.8 ppm. The PSQCA bottled water quality standard for sodium is 50 ppm and for fluoride is 0.7 ppm.
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Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab (PU) Prof. Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar visited University of …