Beware, the packaged drinking water you buy in Mumbai has high levels of cancer-causing chemical | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Beware, the packaged drinking water you buy in Mumbai has high levels of cancer-causing chemical

Though the Mumbai report was published two years ago, no action has been taken yet

mumbai Updated: Aug 02, 2017 16:06 IST
Aayushi Pratap
The BARC study had shown that 27% of the 18 packaged drinking water samples tested contained 10.7 micrograms per litre of bromate —  higher than the World Health Organisation’s stipulated limit.
The BARC study had shown that 27% of the 18 packaged drinking water samples tested contained 10.7 micrograms per litre of bromate — higher than the World Health Organisation’s stipulated limit.(HT File Photo)

If you find yourself reaching out for a bottle of water on a supermarket shelf, reconsider. It has high levels of bromate — a carcinogen.

After a Mumbai doctor reported this to the National Human Rights Commission on July 7, his complaint has finally been acknowledged. The doctor based his complaint on the findings of a 2015 study by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

The BARC study had shown that 27% of the 18 packaged drinking water samples tested contained 10.7 micrograms per litre of bromate. This is higher than the World Health Organisation’s stipulated limit — 10 micrograms per litre.

The contaminant levels in packaged drinking water in India are regulated by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which gives an Indian Standards Institute (ISI) mark to those who meet the regulatory limits.

“Packaged drinking water is a popular alternative to public drinking water in India. There are many brands of packaged drinking water and the market is growing rapidly,” read BARC’s paper.

The doctor said that though the report was published two years ago, no action has been taken yet. In response, the NHRC directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to submit a report in four weeks.

“ High levels of bromate are known to be carcinogenic. The government has not taken action to reduce its levels in drinking water. This shows that they are lax when it comes to quality checks,” said the doctor, who did not wish to be identified.