Scientists Find Presence of Harmful Chemicals in Bottled Water

Posted in: Drinking Water News, Water Contamination, Water Health Effects
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Presence of bromate, chlorite and chlorate in packaged water has come as a surprise.
Photo credit: India Today

Article courtesy of Dinesh C. Sharma | January 11, 2015 | India Today | Shared as educational material

You think that drinking bottled water will make you appear to be a purveyor of optimal hydration, but think again. You may be exposing your body to an onslaught of chemicals by drinking bottled.

A recent study by scientists from the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Section of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has revealed presence of harmful chemicals in samples of bottled water. Ironically, these impurities are formed during cleaning processes deployed by bottled water companies.

While bottled water may be free of pathogens – including disease causing bacteria – once it is treated in factories, treatment processes may introduce impurities, which are not found in raw water used.

The presence of bromate, chlorite and chlorate in packaged water has come as a surprise because these ions are not present in groundwater generally used for making packaged water. These impurities, scientists say, are ‘disinfection by-products’. At present, India has no regulation that sets maximum limits for such chemicals in bottled water.

An analysis of eighteen different commercial brands of packaged drinking water purchased from local markets in Mumbai revealed presence of bromate, chlorite and chlorate in them. Results of the analysis carried out by scientists from the BARC have appeared in the latest issue of scientific journal, Current Science.

“These impurities are not present in raw water but are formed due to the process of ozonation used for treatment of water. For instance, bromate is formed during disinfection of water containing bromide with ozone”, explained Dr G.G. Pandit, who led the research team.

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