A video circulated on social media recently claimed that drinking bottled water will lead to a host of health problems, including fatigue, headaches, and compromising the immune system.
In response to public concerns, the authority confirmed that all brands of bottled water on sale in the market were safe for human consumption, local media Gulf News reported.
The authority said that the manufacturers have declared all ingredients used and have complied with the UAE’s labelling regulations.
Bottled water were also packaged and transported in transparent containers manufactured from approved substances.
In the UAE, bottled water, natural mineral water, and packaged ice need to be certified with the Emirates Quality Mark (EQM).
This EQM verifies that the products are compliant with the relevant UAE or GCC Standardisation Organization (GSO) standards.
Earlier this year, the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA) also assured that federal testing and monitoring of all plastic bottles in the country met domestic and international safety standards.
The assurance came after a study commissioned by Orb Media found that more than 90% of the world’s most popular bottled water brands contained tiny pieces of plastic.
The study found that polypropylene (54%) was the most commonly found plastic, followed by polyester, polyethylene, polystyrene, and nylon.
Limiting use of plastic
Elsewhere in the UAE, the Dubai Municipality has launched a smart tracking system to limit the number of times the five-gallon water bottles could be refilled earlier this year.
The aim is to ensure that the five-gallon water bottles are refilled no more than 33 times.
Authorities believe that reusing the polycarbonate plastic bottles repeatedly can release harmful carcinogenic and endocrine disruptive substances into the water.
Under the system, bottles that have exceeded the limit would be automatically rejected from the production line.
Consumers are also able to verify the number of times the bottles have been refilled by using a mobile application “Water SmarTrace”.
Bottled water market
The UAE bottled water market can be categorised into still water, flavoured water, functional water, and carbonated water.
Almost every local bottled water company operating in the UAE uses desalinated water due to the limited amount of spring water resources.
The UAE bottled water market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017 to 2022, according to Mordor Intelligence.
Leading players in the field include Agthia, Masafi, Oasis, Danone, and PepsiCo.