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Commercially-sold bottled water ‘not safe’

Published : 25 Sep 2019 10:28 PM | Updated : 03 Sep 2020 10:43 PM

Most of the commercially-sold bottled water is not as safe as drinkers feel because  around 65-70% of bottled water is ‘contaminated,’ experts indicate. According to reports, a total of 287 factories, including multinational water companies, are authorized to produce plastic bottles, jars and other containers used for selling and supplying drinking water across the country. Over 3,000 factories are producing plastic bottles and containers which are being used for supplying ‘unsafe’ water.

Experts say that drinking from such bottles is extremely harmful to health. These bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate. Mixing the ingredients in this bottle at high temperatures makes them poisonous.

Usually, these bottles should be used only once. If repeatedly used, they can lead to diseases like obesity, diabetes, and even the terrible cancer.

Researchers say that stainless steel or aluminum bottles are relatively safe. However, it is not good to use it for too long.

Health and water specialists are seriously concerned about the existing state. At the same time, they also denoted that monitoring and yearly study is a crying need to address this problem.

Water Specialist and lecturer at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Aminul Islam expressed serious trepidation in this regard.

He said, “in Dhaka, most of the bottled water available is indeed not safe. But who will address this? For-profit, immoral businessmen collect contaminated water from sewage lines and after filling without purification, they them hand over to the consumers.”

“Proper monitoring of and guidance for this bottled water sellers is needed. Otherwise, it will not be changed, he added.

When asked about a solution Aminul Islam said, “We need to work on our water infrastructure that takes into account salinity intrusion, arsenic and fecal sludge contamination. What works in the capital city can then be replicated in other urban areas.”

Physician and professor of Medicine at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) Motaleb Ahmed said, “water-borne disease patients are increasing day by day. We often suggest that our patients remain conscious while drinking water,”

Referring to a recent newspaper report, Dr Motaleb mentioned that E. coli contamination was found present in 80 percent of household tap-water across the country.

Bottled water is more dangerous than supposed to be. Demands for bottled water increases in summer, personally I suggest not to buy bottled water from market or hawkers. When you leave the house or office, fill a bottle with boiled water and drink it when you need, he added.

He recommended that we need to enforce our environmental laws that heavily penalize errant industries which continue to pollute our rivers and deprive us of natural water supply. Studies estimate that only about one to two percent of all fecal sludge is safely managed in urban cities, but there is no data about rural areas. According to researcher Marilyn Glenville, plastic bottles contain ingredients that are known to cause hormone dysfunction and breast cancer. In addition, plastic bottles can be used to draw disease-causing bacteria.