Study: plastic contaminants taint bottled water
Photo source: Justin Sullivan Getty Images embed Plastic particles consumed by humans can travel through the gut without a trace; human body ‘very well-adapted in dealing with those non-digestible micro-particles’ WASHINGTON, D.C. (CN) – A new study led by a nonprofit journalism group found that more than 90 percent of several top brands of bottled water were contaminated with tiny pieces of plastic.
“A single bottle can hold dozens or possibly even thousands of microscopic plastic particles.
Tests on more than 250 bottles from 11 brands reveal contamination with plastic including polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate,” according to a release about the research by Washington, D.C.-based Orb Media.
The dyed water was then filtered through glass fiber.
“Some of the bottles we tested contained so many particles that we asked a former astrophysicist to use his experience counting stars in the heavens to help us tally these fluorescing constellations.
A few effectively had no plastic at all,” according to the study.
Research revealed a global average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter for particles in the 0.10 millimeter size range.
According to the study, Nestle conducted its own testing of six bottles from three locations following an inquiry from Orb Media and its head of quality Frederic de Bruyne said the results “showed between zero and five plastic particles per liter.” He also argued Professor Mason’s testing failed to include a step to remove biological substances, therefore “some of the fluorescing particles could be false positives – natural material that the Nile Red had also stained.” None of the other companies agreed to publicize their plastic contamination test results, according to Orb Media.
Others might get lodged into the intestinal wall or make their way through the body another way.
“Based on what we know so far about the toxicity of microplastics — and our knowledge is very limited on that — I would say that there is little health concern, as far as we know,” Martin Wagner, a toxicologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said in a statement.