Normally, boiling water is considered one of the best methods to ensure its safety for drinking. However, a recent study has revealed that storing boiled water for extended periods may pose a risk to health. According to lab-based research by the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies along with the Royal Centre for Disease Control, water stored for more than 48 hours develops a parasite which can lead to serious infections.
The lead researcher, Drungtsho Jigme Singye says the research procedure involved storing boiled water under four different conditions.
One sample was stored in a refrigerator at a temperature of 2-8 Degree Celsius. A second sample was stored at room temperature and the third sample was kept in an incubator at a temperature of 37 Degree Celsius. The fourth sample containing freshwater which was not boiled and kept at room temperature was also studied for the research.
All four samples were checked after every 24 hours for three days.
The lab-based experiment checked the physical and chemical changes and parasite contents.
“We can conclude from our experiment that boiled water after 24 hours has no adverse changes and thus, would not be problematic. However, the results showed that after 48 hours, bacteria were formed. After 72 hours, the parasite growth increased in the water content. Therefore, even if we store boiled water in the refrigerator, it is unsafe for drinking,” said Jigme Singye.
He added that the experiment showed fluctuations in the water’s turbidity, PH level, alkalinity, and salt variation.
“From our findings, the parasite formed was Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS). According to the modern medicine literature review, the parasite is harmless if it emerges on a person’s outer skin. However. if a substantive amount of the bacteria is inside the human body, it can cause serious infections.”
He added that the findings of the research are not meant to create panic among the people. It was done as a part of the study of the traditional medicine system called sowa rigpa.
Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen