Microplastics: Most Bottled Water is Contaminated With These Toxic Particles

These toxic chemicals are found in most brands of bottled water. 😯


It is a common misconception that bottled water is healthy, but what most people don’t realize, is that the majority of water sold in plastic bottles is contaminated with toxic microplastics.

Plastic has actually become an extremely harmful convenience, now threatening environmental and human health alike, and in more methods than one.

With impact it’s having on our health and environment, it’s time we evaluate the effect bottled water is actually having on our world.

There’s the issue of bulk plastics in our landfills, where it will remain indefinitely since the majority of plastic does not biodegrade, and microplastics– microscopic pieces of degraded plastic– which now choke waterways around the world and contaminate drinking water and sea life.

On top of that, there are the chemicals used in the production of plastic, much of which have hormone-mimicking activity, therefore threatening animal and human health, including reproductive health.

Disturbingly, recent tests expose most mineral water consists of microplastics pollution– contamination believed to originate from the production process of the bottles and caps.

The featured CBC market investigation of bottled water found plastic contamination, including rayon and polyethylene, in 30 of 50 water bottles checked.

Microplastics were even discovered in bottled water that was sold in a glass container.

Researchers at the New York State University likewise evaluated 259 bottles of 11 popular mineral water brands for the presence of microscopic microplastics on behalf of Orb Media, a not-for-profit journalism organization.

Brand names included Aquafina, Nestle Pure Life, Evian, Dasani and San Pelligerino.

Usually, the bottled water tested contained 325 fragments of microplastics per liter; just over ten of those pieces were at least one hundred microns in size, the rest were smaller sized.

The majority of these bits and pieces are so tiny they’re unnoticeable to the naked eye.

To reveal them, the researchers utilized a special dye that binds to plastic, combined with infrared laser and blue light.

Using orange-colored glasses, the particles appear illuminated like stars in the night sky when the water sample is viewed under a microscope.

Bottled water contaminated with microscopic plastic – microplastics

Overall, just 17 of the 259 bottles were found to be without microplastic particles, and none of the brands tested consistently devoid of plastic impurities.

The worst wrongdoer was Nestlé Pure Life, the most infected sample of which contained 10,390 particles per liter, while the least polluted brand, San Pellegrino, included a high-end density of 74 particles in every liter.

Here’s a breakdown summary of the most and least contaminated brand names:
Most contaminated brands Least contaminated brands
Nestlé Pure Life San Pellegrino
Bisleri Evian
Gerolsteiner Dasani
Aqua Wahaha
Epura Minalba

As kept in mind in Orb Media’s “Plus Plastic” report:

“Humans need approximately 2 liters of fluids a day to stay hydrated and healthy — even more in hot and arid regions. Orb’s findings suggest that a person who drinks a liter of bottled water a day might be consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year …

“For microplastic debris around 100 microns in size … bottled water samples contained nearly twice as many pieces of microplastics per liter (10.4) than the tap water samples (4.45) … According to existing scientific research, the plastic particles you consume in food or drinks might interact with your body in a number of different ways …

“Some particles might lodge in the intestinal wall. Others might be taken up by intestinal tissue to travel through the body’s lymphatic system. Particles around 110 microns in size (0.11 millimeters) can be taken into the body’s hepatic portal vein, which carries blood from the intestines, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen to the liver.

“Smaller debris, in the range of 20 microns (0.02 mm) has been shown to enter the bloodstream before it lodges in the kidneys and liver … Ninety percent of the plastic particles we found … were between 100 and 6.5 microns — small enough … for some to cross the gut into your body.”

World Health Organization launches health review of microplastics

In response to Orb Media’s report, the World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged to introduce a security review to examine the possible brief- and long-term health threats of taking in microplastic in water. WHO’s worldwide water and sanitation organizer, Bruce Gordon told BBC News:

“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.

“We normally have a ‘safe’ limit but to have a safe limit, to define that, we need to understand if these things are dangerous, and if they occur in water at concentrations that are dangerous. The public are obviously going to be concerned about whether this is going to make them sick in the short term and the long-term.”

Plastic debris in world’s oceans predicted to rise 200 percent by 2025

In related news, a report by the U.K. Government Office for Science cautions plastic particles littering the world’s oceans– 70 percent of which does not biodegrade– is most likely to triple by 2025 unless extreme steps are required to curb pollution.

Currently, an estimated 150 million lots of plastic contaminate our oceans, with about 8 million tons being added each year.

Ontario alone tosses away an approximated 12,000 plastic water bottles every 4 minutes.

At the rate we’re going, estimates by the World Economic Forum suggest that by 2050, our oceans will consist of more plastic than fish by weight.7 Already, in some ocean waters plastic surpasses plankton by an element of 6-to-1.8.

“The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics”– a 2016 joint report by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, developed as part of Project MainStream, a multi-industry, global effort launched in 2014– provided “a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste and outlines concrete steps toward achieving the systemic shift needed.”

The crucial problem is that we dispose of as much as $120 billion-worth of plastic each year.

To rein in plastic pollution, this disposal of plastic should be stopped.

To do this, the report proposes a whole new “circular economy” where products are repurposed and reused for as long as possible, if not permanently.

A lot of plastic packaging is utilized only when, for this reason, 95 percent of the worth of this plastic is right away lost after its first usage.

Microplastics in the oceans

“The New Plastics Economy, outlined in this report, envisages a fundamental rethink for plastic packaging and plastics in general — a new model based on creating effective after-use pathways for plastics; drastically reducing leakage of plastics into natural systems, in particular oceans; and finding alternatives to crude oil and natural gas as the raw material of plastic production,” the press release states.

“Achieving the systemic change needed to shift the global plastic value chain will require major collaboration efforts between all stakeholders across the global plastics value chain — consumer goods companies, plastic packaging producers and plastics manufacturers, businesses involved in collection, sorting and reprocessing, cities, policy-makers and NGOs.

“The report proposes the creation of an independent coordinating vehicle to set direction, establish common standards and systems, overcome fragmentation, and foster innovation opportunities at scale. In line with the report’s recommendations, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will establish an initiative to act as a cross-value-chain global dialogue mechanism and drive the shift toward a New Plastics Economy.”

Pacific ‘Garbage Patch’ contains a lot more plastic than previously believed

Another disturbing study suggests the Great Pacific Garbage Patch– a 1.6 million square kilometers– nearly 618,000 square miles– the location of the ocean in between Hawaii and California– may consist of anywhere from 4 to 16 times more plastic than approximated by earlier studies.

This conclusion was reached by gathering both aerial study and net catch data and creating a computer system model to approximate the total burden.

According to these quotes, the density of plastic litter is approximated to be about 1 kilo of plastic per square kilometer around the boundary, while surpassing 100 kilos per square kilometer at the center of the vortex.

In all, this single trash spot alone is believed to contain over 78,082 loads (79,000 metric loads) of plastic garbage, and perhaps as much as 142,198 tons (129,000 metric lots).

More than three-quarters of all this garbage is pieces bigger than five centimeters.

About 8 percent of the overall mass is thought to be microplastics.

Microbeads and microfibers also pose critical environmental dangers

In addition to all this larger-scale ocean garbage, we also have microfibers12 and microbeads to contend with.

While the microplastic found in mineral water was deemed to be by-products of the production process, our global waterways also consist of microplastics– mostly from clothes and personal care products– that threaten the environment at large.

The tiny plastic pellets found in body washes, facial scrubs and toothpaste take a trip right through wastewater treatment plants, filling the stubborn bellies of sea animals with plastic that functions as a sponge for other contaminants.

According to a National Geographic report, an estimated 4,360 lots of microbeads were used in individual care items sold in the European Union (EU) in 2012, all of which is being flushed down the drains.

A 2015 study estimates there might be as much as 236,000 lots of microbeads filling the water columns of our oceans.

Beginning July 2018, microbeads will also not be allowed in cosmetics sold in the U.S.

As of July 2018, a restriction on microbeads in individual care items also takes effect in Canada, while the EU has taken no action on the matter.

This is a good start, however, the question still stays ways to eliminate the microplastic already in our waterways.

As reported by National Geographic:

“As reiterated from the study by the French Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea, ‘Oysters that consume microplastics eat more algae and absorb it more efficiently … [their] ability to reproduce is almost halved’ … Filter feeding organisms are vital components of marine food webs, and their demise could mean severe threats to numerous trophic levels, and perhaps to the humans who rely on these species as a source of food.

“For microplastic debris around 100 microns in size … bottled water samples contained nearly twice as many pieces of microplastics per liter (10.4) than the tap water samples (4.45) … According to existing scientific research, the plastic particles you consume in food or drinks might interact with your body in a number of different ways …

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Acrylic fibers adding to environmental pollution

With regard to microfibers released from clothes, acrylic fibers release the highest amounts.

Testing reveals each washing of a synthetic fleece jacket releases 1.7 grams of microfiber, and the older the jacket, the more microfibers are shed.

Different types of devices also release various amounts of fibers and chemicals from your clothing.

Leading packing machines to release about 530 percent more microfibers than front filling models.

Approximately 40 percent of these microfibers leave the wastewater treatment plant and end up in the surrounding lakes, rivers, and oceans.

To address the issue, scientists are urging device companies to include filters to capture the microfibers in their makers.

Wexco is presently the unique distributor of the Filtrol 160 filter, designed to capture nonbiodegradable fibers from your washing device discharge.

Nevertheless, it does not really resolve the problem in the long term, since the fibers will just wind up in garbage dumps rather.

Microfibers launched during cleaning has actually been revealed to raise mortality among water fleas, and lower the overall food intake of crabs, worms, and langoustines (Norway lobster), thus threatening their development and survival rates.

Not surprisingly, microplastics and microfibers have likewise been linked to plastic contamination in fish.

Fish and other sea animals quickly consume both, and research shows these plastic particles tend to bioaccumulate, ending up being increasingly concentrated in the bodies of animals greater up the food chain.

And, since a lot of these toxic substances bind to fats, they permit the contaminants to bioaccumulate in the body much quicker, reaching ever rising amounts as you go up the food chain.

These chemicals have been revealed to trigger liver damage, liver growths and indications of endocrine disturbance in fish and other seafood, that includes lowered fertility and immune function.

How you can be part of the solution

Our cultural affection for all things disposable has actually left a trail of destruction.

Now, how can you become part of the option?

In other words, by becoming a more mindful consumer.

Really give some believed to the production of the items you buy, how they may impact you throughout usage, and what will take place to them once you get rid of them.

Few people can live a zero-waste lifestyle at this moment in time, but every single one of us can take small however definitive steps toward the goal of decreasing plastic trash in all of its types.

Here are some recommendations to consider:

  • – Avoid bottled water. Instead, purchase an excellent water filtration system for your home and fill your own reusable bottles with filtered tap water. Previous testing has exposed most bottled water is just faucet water anyhow, which may or might not have undergone additional filtering. With over 267 toxic substances discovered in public faucet water, it’s worth investing in a high-quality filter and take your own water wherever you go.
  • – Reduce your use of all things plastic: Purchase items that are not made from or packaged in plastic. While the products involved are near-endless, here are a couple of ideas:
  • ◦ Use recyclable shopping bags for groceries.
  • ◦ Bring your own mug when enjoying a coffee beverage, and skip the lid and the straw.
  • ◦ Store foods in glass containers or mason jars rather than plastic containers or bags.
  • ◦ Take your very own remaining container to restaurants.
  • ◦ Request no cling wrap on dry cleaning.
  • – Avoid personal care items including microbeads. Lots of items containing microbeads will promote them on the label, although they might also be noted as “polyethylene” or “polypropylene” in the ingredients list. When the ban takes result this summer, you should not be able to discover any personal care products with microbeads in the U.S. or Canada but keep your eyes open for them till then, and if you live in the EU, please avoid them any place you find them.
  • – Avoid microfiber clothing such as fleece, and/or clean them as rarely as possible. Preferably, look for 100 percent organic clothes, colored with natural, non-toxic dyes.
  • – Recycle whatever you can: Take care to recycle and repurpose as many products as you can, and/or take part in “plastic drives” for regional schools, where money is paid by the pound.

 

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