ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) on Monday sealed seven factories of different bottled water brands after finding it unsafe for human consumption in various areas of the federal capital. The factories of various brands that were sealed include Sama, Safe Life, Fresh Drops, Dew Drops, Qartbak Chowk, Soft In, Beverly Dew Drops and Aqua Fresh for not following quality standards in preparations of the products. Regional In Charge of PSQCA, Abdul Ghafar told ‘Daily Times’ that the action was taken on the directives of Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain and Director General (PSQCA) Muhammad Khalid Sadique. The PSQCA teams headed by Abdul Ghafar raided various units of drinking water bottles brands in various part of the city and sealed the above factories for violation of PSQCA Act. The federal government was ready to issue SROs and notifications for commodities with the cooperation of PSQCA under section 14 of PSQCA Act. Licenses were necessary for the preparation and sell of every eatable and non food items that come under the above act. The PSQCA was authorized to seal the unit and lodge case in court against individuals involve in preparing the items without getting PSQCA license. The minimum fine for the violation was Rs 50,000 or one year imprisonment or both punishments. Abdul Ghafar said the authority wouldn’t compromise on the quality of commodities particularly the eatable items in federal capital. He had asked all units operators working illegally to obtain PSQCA license other wises action would be taken under the law against the violators accordingly. Due to more demand, there has been an increase in the number of bottled water companies over the last few years. According to the report of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources for January to March 2016, 22 brands are unsafe for drinking due to chemical and microbiological contamination. These include ECO, Coral Water, HI-Fresh, New Nation, Pak Aqua, HFC, Total, NG Fresh Water, Al-Habib, Silver, ORION, Aqua Arabia, Well Care, Desert Dew, New Deep, Lite Aqua, Aqua Smart, Avalon Pure Water, New Smart Aqua, Mazan Pure, Royal Blue and Aqua National. The report said that from these, 12 brands had high levels of arsenic ranging from 12 to 85 parts per billion when the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority standard for arsenic is 10 parts per billion. These brands include New Nation, HFC, Total, Well Care, Desert Dew, New Deep, Lite Aqua, Aqua Smart, New Smart Aqua, Mazan Pure, Royal Blue and Aqua National among others. In their statement, PCRWR warns that excessive levels of arsenic can cause various types of skin diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases, birth defects, black foot disease and multiple types of cancers. The water testing lab has said that three brands, including ECO, Coral Water and Hi Fresh were found to be unsafe due to microbiological contamination which can lead to cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid.