Yikes! More than 90% of bottled water contains tiny pieces of plastic

Is your water bottle safe? Shocking figures reveal 93% of drinks are contaminated with PLASTIC

Is your water bottle safe? Shocking figures reveal 93% of drinks are contaminated with PLASTIC

This variability is "similar to what is seen when we sample open bodies of water" for microplastic pollution, said Sherri Mason, leading microplastics researcher from the State University of NY at Fredonia.

The American study, conducted in Berkeley, California, found widespread microplastic contamination across 18 of 19 tested bottled water brands, with an average of eight particles per litre of water.

"Plastic is all but indestructible, meaning plastic waste doesn't biodegrade; rather, it only breaks down into smaller pieces of itself, even down to particles in nanometer scale - one-one thousandth of one-one thousandth of a millimeter", according to the report.

Bottled water was about 1000 times more expensive than tap water in the U.S., and sold under the pretence of being purer and safer, he said. The study was supervised by Dr. Sherri Mason, Chair of the Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences at the State University of NY at Fredonia, a leading microplastics researcher.

"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", says Martin Wagner, a toxicologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The brands affected include Nestle Pure Life, Dasani, Gerolsteiner, E-Pura, Evian, and Aquafina, to name just a few - again, with huge average microplastic variations across the board.

As part of the tests, Orb Media analysed water from US, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Lebanon, Kenya and Thailand.

"I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water".

This is double the level of microplastics in the tap water tested from more than a dozen countries across five continents, examined in a 2017 study by Orb that looked at similar-sized plastics.

"In this study, 65 per cent of the particles we found were actually fragments and not fibres", Professor Mason said. He warned from consuming water in a plastic bottle that has been kept in high temperatures or forgotten in a auto for days since temperature and plastic combination could produce carcinogenic particles.

Using an infrared microscope, the researchers found that, for particles around 0.1 millimeters in size, there's roughly 10.4 per liter (2.3 gallons) of bottled water in various major brands.

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Plastics have also been known to act like a sponge, and can absorb and release chemicals that could be harmful if consumed by mammals and fish.

But how do these plastic particles get bottled?

Smaller pieces measuring 20 microns, or.02 millimeters, can enter the bloodstream before becoming lodged in the kidney and liver, Orb said, citing UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

However, there are some bottled water brands that are specially created for kids and are bottled in glass recipients.

For Dr Stephanie Wright of the King's College Centre for Environment and Health, the priority is to understand how much microplastic we are exposed to, and exactly what happens to it inside us.

Researchers used fluorescent tagging with Nile Red dye to study the microplastic contamination.

Danone said it could not comment on the study because "the methodology used is unclear" but added that its own bottles had "food grade packaging".

The American Beverage Association, which represents numerous biggest brands across North America, including Nestle, Evian, Dasani and Aquafina, told Orb that "the science on microplastics and microfibres is nascent and an emerging field...."

Brazilian brand Minalba told Orb that it abides by all quality and security standards required by Brazilian legislation.

However, the British Soft Drinks Association today stood by the safety of bottled water.

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