It is not a secret that water on the Arab peninsula is a scarce resource. A lot is being done to desalinate water and make it kind of potable.
However, water that is being advertised and sold in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) barely meets any minimum standards. In all other aspects of life UAE is proud to adhere to the highest standards and also set standards like Dubai Mall or the Burj Khalifa, so why not in the most important nutrition for any organism?
Unless it is spring water, with as much as 100 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS) water is consumable but not healthy at all.
The standards set forth in the United Arab Emirates is ambitious, however, neither local brands nor famous international market leaders come anywhere near meeting these. Following the official document for download.
The standard the UAE is trying to set is defied by reality.
Instead of focussing on relevant health hazards posed by the poor implementation of the UAE minimum standard, the bottling companies point out that their water contained “zero calories”. This is as distracting like US American companies advertising water as being “fat-free” or “low cholesterol”. Ridiculous, as water should not contain fat, sugar or cholesterol at all and wouldn’t of not added artificially.
And, with high levels of Chlorine that is being used to keep water fresh and safe the risk of bladder cancer and other serious life threatening diseases is ripe.
The WHO suggests a level of 0.2 to 1 mg of Chlorine per liter. Everything higher is considered poisonous. All potable water in the United Arab Emirates exceeds such levels by 5 times and more and can be compared to swimming pool water.
In Austria Chlorine is no longer allowed in water unless in emergency cases of natural disasters. Instead potable water in Austria is being kept fresh and safe by UV light treatment.
Also the pH level and the amount of Chloride (CL) contained in bottled water does matter and here especially the European major brand names from Perrier (pH 5.5 and CL 22), Badoit (pH 6 and CL 54), VOSS (pH6.1 and CL 7.7 by only 44 TDS) and San Pellegrino (pH 5.2 and CL 49) completely fail any quality standards in this regard.
In general, water with a pH < 6.5 is acidic, soft, and corrosive. Acidic water could contain metal ions such as iron,manganese, copper, lead, and zinc. In other words, acidic water contains elevated levels of toxic metals. Acidic water can cause premature damage to metal piping, and have associated aesthetic problems such as a metallic or sour taste. It can also stain laundry and cause “blue-green” color staining on sinks and drains. More importantly, there are health risks associated with these toxins.
The primary way to treat the problem of low pH water is with the use of a neutralizer. The neutralizer feeds a solution into the water to prevent the water from reacting with the household plumbing or from contributing to electrolytic corrosion. A typical neutralizing chemical is soda ash. Also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash works to increase the sodium content which increases pH. Water with a pH > 8.5 indicates that the water is hard. Hard water does not pose a health risk, but can also cause aesthetic problems. These problems include an alkali taste to the water (making that morning coffee taste bitter!), formation of scale deposits on dishes, utensils, and laundry basins, difficulty in getting soaps and detergents to lather, and the formation of insoluble precipitates on clothing.
A lower than 6 pH level stands for acidic water that contains harmful contamination with heavy metals such as iron.
Another very important criteria is of course the total dissolved solids (TDS) content. Known brands like Volvic although with an acceptable pH level of 7 contain as much as 130 TDS, Perrier terrible 480 ppm mg/l TDS while it also shows only a very poor pH level of 5.5 and is also holding the lowest ranking position in terms of CL with 22mg/l.
Evian is not much better either with a TDS level of 340 ppm although with an acceptable pH of 7.2 but is being sold only in plastic bottles that pollute the water with polymer.
Since France’s world market leading plastic-bottle water company faced fierce criticism for it’s affinity for plastic it invested into a start-up in California for research and development of 100% natural plastic besides Tritan that so far is the only polymer that bears no health risks to humans. Whereas Tritan the inherent toughness of Tritan increases durability it reduces energy use by eliminating steps in processing, such as annealing and predrying extruded sheet. It has lower density than polycarbonate, which yields more parts per pound or kilogram of polymer.
Parts made from Tritan are much lighter than those made of glass, which can reduce shipping energy and costs. Tritan has a significantly lower “cradle-to-grave” environmental impact than metal sports bottles—and requires less energy to process. Last but not least, Tritan is BPA – free and made without halogens, sulfur, nitrogen, lead, mercury, cadmium, or hexavalent chromium—so it helps keep these materials out of the waste stream.
Nevertheless, so far, Evian sticks to the old PETE and for that, of course, it is very expensive being sold for more than 8 AED (= 2 USD) per liter in the United Arab Emirates.
Water is often bottled in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate), which leaches DEHA, a known carcinogen, into the water. Experts agree that you should not re-use #1 plastic bottles. Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 are worse; they contain Bisphenol A (BPA), which is suspected of causing neurological and behavioral problems in fetuses and children. BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen, which may have detrimental effects, including cancer of the brain, breast, and prostate, on the female reproductive system and the immune system in adults.
Thus Art Aqua technology is the only one that keeps water fresh and safe for 180 days without any chemicals such as chlorine or being exposed to polymer contamination as even bottled ArtAqua water comes in Tritan-bottles. And, being of purest Spring Water quality with only 25 ppm (Perrier: 280, Evian 220, Panna 134) it provides for highest level of healthy nutrition at pH 7.8 depending on requirements by clients who wish to use water as a health supplement at a fraction of the costs of brand names. Water is meant to transport the minerals taken in by good nutrition through the body but not add unnecessary or dangerous minerals to the system.
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