Harmed By Water

When you live in developing countries (even more so, hot ones) one of the biggest challenges you have to deal with is access to safe, clean drinking water. When I was living in India, almost twice a week there would be a knock on the front door from salesmen selling expensive water purification equipment using the principle of Reverse osmosis. They would wield fancy and elaborate brochures extolling the health benefits of RO water.

Eventually, we gave in and bought one of their expensive pieces of equipment (along with the tiresome and pricey ongoing service contract for replacement of filters and servicing etc.). Now, I know the full extent of the con that was being perpetrated on us and thousands of our neighbours. One of the reasons you fall for these things is that the companies marketing these products are big, highly credible corporations with a global presence. However, it wasn’t the first time i came across a multi-national company doing things in a developing country that they would be very wary of trying in their more developed markets.

Why is it an issue? Well, here’s an article that sets out the facts and issues very well. The article has been shared online by WHO (World health Organisation) and United Nations departments:

Drink Natures Water – The Dangers of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water

The scientific findings highlighted in the article are truly scary. Knowing that I and my family drank this water for years makes me feel quite angry and cheated.

Worse, two years after the publication of that article, here’s a typical page from a popular Indian online shopping website:

Snapdeal – Peddling Harmful Water Purifiers

I’m led to wonder – when so much more is known about the harmful effects of RO, why isn’t there legislation against this in more countries? Further, how much longer will so called respectable companies like Whirlpool, Aquaguard, Kent and Eureka Forbes continue to believe it’s acceptable for them to sell and market this equipment, knowing what we now know about the harm they are doing to health.

They may seek to suggest that it’s the lesser of two evils and that no purification would be worse. However, I believe more people need to be raising these issues to bring pressure to bear for change.

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