Safety of bottled water to be investigated after microplastics found

16 March, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • There is no evidence that consuming such small particles of plastic has any ill health effects

"WHO, as part of its continuous review of new evidence on water quality, would review the very scarce available evidence with the objective of identifying evidence gaps, and establishing a research agenda to inform a more thorough risk assessment", the World Health Organization spokesperson said.

The research, conducted at the State University of NY, took in more than 250 bottles from 11 different brands, sold across nine countries.

Nearly 93 per cent of samples were contaminated with these particles which looked like "fluorescing constellations" ranging from the width of human hair to the size of red blood cells.

As the particles become increasingly smaller in size, they are more easily digested and could even cross the gastrointestinal tract and end up being transported through a living organism.

"Our love affair with making single-use disposable plastics out of a material that lasts for literally centuries - that's a disconnect, and I think we need to rethink our relationship with that", says Prof. Orb quoted scientists who backed its research methods, and the testing was carried out at the State University of NY. "Please name one human being on the entire planet who wants plastic in his or her bottle".

The 11 brands tested include the world's dominant players - Nestle Pure Life, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, San Pellegrino and Gerolsteiner - as well as major national brands across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Including India, the samples came from 19 locations in nine countries in five continents besides Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand, and the US.

Only 17 of the 259 bottles analysed by scientists at the State University of NY in Fredonia were completely free of plastic contamination.

Bottled water is often marketed as a pure alternative to what comes out of the tap, but a new report has found it's often anything but.

The testing was conducted at SUNY Fredonia in conjunction with nonprofit journalism organization Orb Media.

A new study commissioned by the Story of Stuff Project has found a widespread plastic microfiber-contamination in bottled water. There were an average of four plastic particles per liter.

From the 93% of contaminated bottles, an average of 10 plastic particles were found in each litre, which equates to the width of a human hair.

A few bottles were found to have thousands of particles - the vast majority being the smaller ones that are "probably plastic" - but others from the same pack had virtually none. They are also found in the intestines of fish and other seafood.

There are no rules or standards for allowable limits of microplastics in bottled water in Canada, the United States and Europe.

This amount is much lower compared with what the study found.

The process was praised by government consultants as being "well conducted" research. The company suggested that Nile Red dye is known to "generate false positives".

'We assure consumers that all of our bottled waters are safe to drink.



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