When in 2010 peak water has been reached in Egypt meaning it became ever more an economic challenge to produce potable water, also food prices were soaring which led to social unrest and eventually to the uprising. Water is the most important commodity. It helps to understand it’s importance when one relates it to production of food or other goods of daily use.
The production of beef for instance relates to 15,500 litres per kilogram that of a T-shirt: 2700 litres
1 kg of rice: 3,400 litres
A 4 sheet of paper: 10 litres for one page
Goat: 4000 litres per kg
Cotton: 11,000 litres per kg
Cheese: 5000 litres per kg
Maize: 900 litres per kg
cup of coffee: 140 litres per 150 ml
an apple: 70 litres.
Now, water is still scarce in Egypt and not much is done by the authorities to manage the water crisis.
Egyptian bottled water certainly is of higher standard than the country’s tap water but far from being a health supplement.
Marginally acceptable 177 ppm TDS and 12 mg/l of Chloride make it rather a ‘swimming pool water’ instead of a healthy drink.
Famous Egyptian brands are of lowest standard and even pose health risks. But, also Nestlé is not much better with a TDS contamination of 123 ppm and 8 mg/l Chloride while the pH level is not even mentioned on the bottle at all.
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 Egypt exceeds such levels by 12 times and more.
In Austria, for instance, 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.
The high bicarbonate content of 117 mg/l speaks for a very low pH level that shall be countered.
But, the Egyptian bottled water is not much worse than some of the most famous brands of the world. A pH of only 5.5 on an average basis is not acceptable.
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 contaminationwith 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 TDS (Perrier: 280, Evian: 220, Agua 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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