No Arsenic in American Zam Zam Water

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By Farkhunda Ali

Muslim Link Contributing Writer

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reported no contamination of excessive arsenic in the US markets’ Zam Zam water.  Zam Zam is a self-replenishing water, which is considered to be sacred to Muslims all over the world.  It is a miracle how it came to being in the middle of the desert for Ishmael and his mother Haajar.

Recently, the Food Standards Agency in the UK found almost three times the authorized arsenic in a brand of Zam Zam water.  The authorities in the UK advised people not to purchase, distribute, import, or drink any commercial brands of Zam Zam water because of its poisonous intensity of arsenic.

Arsenic is a basic semi-metallic element, which appears as a 33rd element in the Periodic Table of Elements.  In its original form, arsenic is a steel grey, very brittle, crystalline solid, which is naturally found in rocks, and soil.  Arsenic is highly poisonous and is known to cause cancer in human beings and other living things. 

According to a 1999 study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, “arsenic can cause bladder, lung, and skin cancer and may cause kidney and liver cancer.”  In addition, a refined white powdered poisonous trioxide of arsenic is used in manufacturing glass and as a pesticide to kill weeds and pests.

On January 22, 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new standard and public water systems will be required to comply with the 10 parts per billion (ppb) standard for arsenic in drinking water beginning January 23, 2006.  Currently, the approved standard of arsenic in drinking water is 50 ppb.  The EPA reported that it “expects to make a final decision on whether to revise the January 2001 rule as a part of the next six-year review of drinking water standards, which is due in August 2008.”  

“I have not heard any health alerts regarding Zam Zam water in US markets,” said Michael Herndon, press officer of the FDA.  “If we thought there was a problem, we would alert the borders before the product enters the country.”

“The FDA has very strict regulations in the US regarding any imported food and drinking products,” said Afaf Abdul-Rahman, co-owner of M & A International.  Abdul-Rahman emphasized that the FDA takes samples of everything that will be in contact with human beings or any living thing.  “If it doesn’t comply with the FDA regulations, then they burn it,” said Abdul-Rahman.

The M & A Int’l reports that Zam Zam water has to be sampled in Saudi Arabia before exporting and sampled in the US by the FDA before it is delivered to the consumers’ markets for peoples’ use.  M & A Int’l, based in Northern Virginia, is an international exporting and importing business which mainly trades with China, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Herndon said the FDA regularly investigates all imported products that will be consumed by human beings, and if there is a doubt about it being harmful, FDA would be willing to further investigate it.

In addition, Yasser Nada, manager of the Sooq Al-Huda, a grocery and book store in College Park, called on its distributor to check the contents of imported Zam Zam water, and everything appeared to be sufficient.

This makes it safe for American Muslims to purchase and continue consumption of Zam Zam water for multi purposes as it is the Sunnah and highly recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).  Zam Zam water has been scientifically proven to have healing qualities due to its high content of calcium and natural fluorides.  It is an amazing fact that this five feet deep well continuously produces enough water for the consumption of several million thirsty pilgrims during the time of hajj and umraah and for bottled packaging to be carried home by pilgrims for their families and friends. 

The late Sheikh Muhammad Uthaymeen said, “so you should have the intention of what you want to gain by drinking this water, he should drink his stomach with it until it is filled to the ribs, because this water is good.”