Study finds microplastics in 93% of bottled water samples

Study finds microplastics in 93% of bottled water samples

Study finds microplastics in 93% of bottled water samples

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it would launch a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water, partly in response to the study findings.

Researchers tested 11 popular brands of water bought in nine countries including the United States. A bottle of Nestle Pure Life water showed the highest levels in Orb Media's study, with 10,390 particles per liter.

"We know plastics are building-up in marine animals, and this means we too are being exposed, some of us, every day", she said.

"They have been reported in tap water, beer and many other foods, but I think that people will be surprised that nearly all bottled water appears to be contaminated too".

Microbeads were intentionally put in products to make them "scrubby", while microfibers and microplastics are unintended byproducts, noted Patty Lovera, assistant director at advocacy groups Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action.

Polypropylene, often used to make plastic bottle caps, was found to be the most common polymeric material (54 per cent), while Nylon was the second most abundant (16 per cent). Leading worldwide brands in this study included Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life, and San Pellegrino. Gerolsteiner said that its tests also revealed that its products have a far lower amount of microplastics per liter than the findings of the study.

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"Widespread contamination" with plastic was found in the study, led by microplastic researcher Sherri Mason of the State University of NY at Fredonia, according to a summary released by Orb Media, a US-based non-profit media collective. Retail purchase, package preparation, and acceptance by shipping office of most sample cases were documented with video and still photography to confirm chain of possession, researchers said in the report.

Tempo, partnering with University of Indonesia's (UI) chemistry lab, also conducted an independent test to confirm the State University of NY at Fredonia's findings.

The results have convinced the World Health Organization to look closer at the impacts microplastics might have on health. No one's really sure, because there isn't enough data on the health effects of ingesting plastic.

According to the research, the global average presence is 10.4 plastic particles per litre whereas, the global average of smaller particles was 314.6 per litre. "There's so many unknowns here", Jane Muncke, chief scientist at the Zurich-based Food Packaging Forum, told Orb.

"When we think about the composition of the plastic, whether there might be toxins in it, to what extent they might carry harmful constituents, what actually the particles might do in the body - there's just not the research there to tell us. I think it's something to be concerned about".

"They're more concerning when it comes to the science", Dr. Sherri Mason, chemistry professor and chair of SUNY Fredonia's Department of Geology and Environment Sciences, explained.

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