Bottled Water: ‘ Is it Not Safe for Drinking?’

According to new study conducted in Canada,

high level of bacterias has been found in bottled water

. Quite stunning, right? We drink bottled water quite frequently thinking that they are very pure and safe, but this study reveals a new side of bottled water.

As per the Montreal study, in more than 70% of bottled water samples, it has been found that the heterotrophic bacteria count crosses the specified limits recommended by the

United States Phamacopeia (USP)


Sonish Azam

, a scientist from Ccrest laboratories, said that most of the urban Canadians assume bottled water as a safer and purer fom of water than the normal tap water. But in reality, they have access to cleanest source of water a�� normal tap water.

The regulatory bodies such as Health Canada, Environmental Protection agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration have not specified a limit for the heterotrophic bacteria counts in bottled water. According to USP, however, only

500 colony forming units (cfu) per millimeter

should be present in drinking water.

This study was initiated when one of the Ccrest employee’s complained of sickness after drinking bottled water at the company. The team of researchers found that more than

70% of well recognised bottled water brands

didn’t meet the USP limits for drinking water.

In some of the bottled waters, the heterotrophic bacteria counts were found to be

one hundred times more than the specified limit

. Whereas, when compared with different tap water samples, the average microbial count was

170 cfu/mL


Azam made it clear that these bacteria usually do not cause any disease. Also, they have not established the presence of those bacteria that cause diseases. Still, high counts of these bacteria in bottled water could endanger vulnerable populations such as the elderly people, immuno-compromised patients, infants and pregnant women.

The findings of this study revealed the presence of a high amount of bacterial agents in the bottled water. Hence, it is impertinent to

set a limit for the heterotrophic bacteria count

. Also, it is important to

identify the type of microbes

present in bottled water.

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