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July 23, 2010

Chemical water purifiers are unsafe

A study released  on Wednesday found that all chemical water purifiers in the Indian market fall short of required safety standards. 

If you think the water purifier in your house is providing clean drinking water, then think again. The study by Healthy You Foundation covered all major brands of water purifiers available in the Indian market & found that they do not disclose adequate information to enable consumers to make an informed choice. While chemical water purifiers were found to be the worst, the ultraviolet based & reverse osmosis systems performed better. 

Bejon Mishra, founder of Healthy You Foundation said "There is a lack of stringent standards & regulations in India to monitor public health & safety issues as a variety of water purifiers make tall claims to purify water. Generally chemical-based purifiers cannot remove dissolved solids from water & thus not recommended in areas with high hardness or other dissolved solids."

Agrees S Krishnan, President of Healthy You Foundation, "There is a great risk of formation of disinfection by-products, even in the most commonly used disinfectant – Chlorine. It can lead to adverse health effects in the long run, ranging from metabolic disorders to renal failure & cancer."

Mishra rues that the branded players fall short of adequate disclosure requirements like the type of chemicals used, life of filters & other components. "There should be a comprehensive mandatory labelling based on international best practices. Even the major brands agree to the need for setting standards & adequate labeling."

"We support the views that there should be comprehensive testing done to verify the claims made by different water purifier manufacturers & that appropriate standards need to be developed by the government & industry bodies for water purifiers in general," said Vikram Surendran, General Manager (Water), Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

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