Bangla bottled water also a hazard

Published: Saturday 15 March 2003

In a study similar to the one conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (cse) in Delhi and Mumbai, a research body in Bangladesh has uncorked unpleasant facts about bottled water. While cse found pesticide residues in packaged water being sold in the two metros, application research laboratory Plasma Plus detected high levels of inorganic elements in commercially available bottled water in Bangladesh.

At the end of the two-year research, it was found that packaged water did not conform to international standards in Bangladesh. The level of inorganic elements printed on the labels of some bottles was higher than that recommended for human consumption. Elements such as sodium were present in excess quantities, which can lead to high blood pressure.

The most shocking aspect was that about half of the contents listed on the labels of the bottles -- analysed in the laboratory under strict quality assurance and control -- were found to be misleading. The study also showed that 80 per cent of the manufacturers did not mention the address or location of their plants as required.

But the researchers did not disclose the brand names, certified mostly by the Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute -- the official body that ascertains the safety of these products.

The water sample analysis was carried out on 58 brands of drinking water, including four imported brands labelled as mineral water. The researchers found that the industry was mostly tapping groundwater and that and one of the companies had used water supplied by the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority. The water quality control procedures were found to be largely flawed.

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