Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles
The world’s leading brands of bottled water are contaminated with tiny plastic particles that are likely seeping in during the packaging process, according to a major study across nine countries published Wednesday.
“Widespread contamination” with plastic was found in the study, led by microplastic researcher Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia, according to a summary released by Orb Media, a United States-based non-profit media collective.
“In this study, 65 percent of the particles we found were actually fragments and not fibers,” Mason told AFP.
“I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water.
I think that most of the plastic that we are seeing is coming from the bottle itself, it is coming from the cap, it is coming from the industrial process of bottling the water.” Particle concentration ranged from “zero to more than 10,000 likely plastic particles in a single bottle,” said the report.
Experts cautioned that the extent of the risk to human health posed by such contamination remains unclear.
“We know that they are connected to these synthetic chemicals in the environment and we know that plastics are providing kind of a means to get those chemicals into our bodies.” Time to ditch plastic?
Previous research by Orb Media has found plastic particles in tap water, too, but on a smaller scale.
The three-month study used a technique developed by the University of East Anglia’s School of Chemistry to “see” microplastic particles by staining them using fluorescent Nile Red dye, which makes plastic fluorescent when irradiated with blue light.
“It’s more urgent now than ever before to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past.” AB