Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
Mumbai's leading newspaper, Midday, contacted the Centre for Science and Environment's Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) to conduct a survey for pesticide residues in bottled water in the Mumbai region. PML scientists went to Mumbai, scanned the market, bought samples from the open market and then, as in Delhi, located industries to collect their raw water samples.
A total of 13 brands - most popular in the western region - and 26 samples were analysed. Raw water from 10 units was also checked to verify the contamination in the source.
The story was similar to Delhi. But also different, as the pesticide levels detected were lower. Mumbai's bottled water industry got away lightly because its source water was of slightly better quality. But on analysis, PML found that all samples and source water had g-HCH and chlorpyrifos - both deadly toxins.
What was found:
The worst brand was Oxyrich - a local brand manufactured in Pune region - 16.7 times higher than prescribed standards.
Delhi's bad performers and market leaders, Bisleri and Kinley, did better in the Mumbai samples - they were ranked 7th and 4th respectively.
The average for the 26 samples was 7.2 times higher than the stipulated minimum standards of the European Economic Commission (EEC), better than Delhi, which had average levels 36.4 times higher than the stipulated norms.
It is clear that the issue in question is the source water. In Mumbai, many industries used water supplied by the municipal corporation, not groundwater. But it is equally clear that where the industry depends on groundwater, or is located in relatively polluted zones, the pesticide levels are automatically higher. Take the case of Brilliant - popular in the western region. In one sample, manufactured in Mumbai with municipal water supply, the pesticide residues were low (1.4 times the standards). But the same brand, manufactured in Daman - an industrial region located near the chemical belt of the country - had pesticide levels which were much higher - 10 times the standards.
It was the same for the worst performing brands - Oxyrich was manufactured in Pune, Best in Daman, Royal Aqua in Jalgoan and Aupurva in the industrial area of Navi Mumbai. The connection is crystal clear.