Consumer Voice - - Packaged Drinking Water -

FOR MI­CRO­BI­O­LOG­I­CAL AC­TIV­ITY Mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion of wa­ter has long been a mat­ter of con­cern to the pub­lic. Many in­fec­tious micro­organ­isms found in the en­vi­ron­ment – such as shigella, E. coli, vib­rio, sal­mo­nella, co­l­iform, S. au­reus, fae­cal strep­to­cocci, yeast and mould, V. cholerae, V. para­haemolyti­cus, Pseu­domonas aerug­i­nosa – can con­tam­i­nate the wa­ter sup­plied to us. These micro­organ­isms can cause symp­toms such as nau­sea, vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea and stom­ach cramps. In healthy adults, these ill­nesses are usu­ally mild and do not last long. In in­fants, chil­dren, the el­derly, and per­sons with weak­ened im­mune sys­tems, these ill­nesses can be more se­vere.

The re­sults of our tests, con­ducted as per the re­quire­ments set out by In­dian Stan­dard, are re­pro­duced here. • Aqua­fina, Bail­ley, Royal Blue and A4X failed to meet the mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal re­quire­ments – hence they are not safe for con­sump­tion. To­tal vi­able colony count was found to be high in all four brands. Also, Pseu­domonas aerug­i­nosa was de­tected in these brands. • Yeast and mould was found in Aqua­fina.

Pseu­domonas aerug­i­nosa can cause a range of in­fec­tions but rarely causes se­ri­ous ill­ness in healthy in­di­vid­u­als with­out some pre­dis­pos­ing fac­tor. It pre­dom­i­nantly colonises dam­aged sites such as burn and surgical wounds, the res­pi­ra­tory tract of peo­ple...

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