Bottled Water is not safe as much as they supposed to be

Image Source: Newatlas

Recent study has come up with drastic results regarding bottled water all around the world, including India. According to this report, 90% of the leading packaged water brands are contaminated by micro plastics. The reports threaten that these micro plastics pose a great harm to mankind.

ORB media, a US-based non-profit organization, revealed that 11 international brands of packaged water are contaminated by plastic debris which includes polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

ORB media considered these top 11 brands all around the world: Aqua (Danone), Aquafina (PepsiCo), Bisleri (Bisleri international), Dasani (Coca-Cola), Epura (PepsiCo), Evian (Danone), Gerolsteiner (Gerolsteiner Brunner), Minalba (Grupo Edsen Queiroz), Nestle Pure Life (Nestle), San Pellegrino (Nestle) and Wahaha (Hangzhou Wahaha Group).

Out of total samples tested, plastic was found among 93% of them. The range of plastic particles in a single bottle ranged from zero to more than 10,000. In this way, bottled water is far more dangerous than running tap water as 83% of it is contaminated with micro plastics.     

The report revealed that a person who consumes 1 liter of bottled water in a day is estimated to consume tens of thousands of micro plastics per year.

Following to this report WHO has ordered a review into the risk of readily available bottled drinking water.

Microplastics are non-biodegradable nano particles

Rajarshi Banerjee, senior scientist at the centre for Science and Environment, said in an interview:

“Micro plastics are nano particles that can potentially pass through water filter barrier and enter purified water.” 

In simple words, plastic particles that size below 0.10 mm range are known as micro plastics. On an average, one may find 10.4 micro plastics per one liter of water. These plastic particles are non-biodegradable. They just break themselves down into smaller particles.

The most common sources of micro plastics are synthetic clothes, paints and tire dust. The secondary sources of micro plastics include bags, straws and forks. Micro plastics are commonly found in toothpaste and cosmetic products.

ORB Media used an interesting method to test the transparent water bottles. The team used a special dye, an infrared laser, and a blue light. Each plastic bottle was infused with this special blue dye, Nile under the laminar airflow hood. Following to this, the dyes water was passed through a glass fiber filter. The residue of each bottle glowed with fluorescence flames, each flame indicating thousands of particles.    

Different types of micro plastics:

  1. Polyethylene Terephthalate: This is the chemical which is commonly found in packaged water bottles and food items.
  2. High-density polyethylene: Packaged milk, juice and shampoos contain this kind of chemical.
  3. Polyvinyl chloride: Wrapping material for meat and sandwiches and bath toys usually compromise of this chemical.
  4. Low-density polyethylene: bread package and milk cartons can be found loaded with this chemical.
  5. Polypropylene: This harmful micro plastic is found in yogurt, medicine container and winter clothing.
  6. Polystyrene: The last form of micro plastic is usually found in fishing industry.

Simple tips to minimise micro plastics in daily life:

a)      Stop using plastic bags.

b)      Use reusable water bottles more than disposable water bottles

c)       Always choose glass instead of plastic.

d)      Do not wash synthetic clothes too frequently.    

According to WHO, this news is worry some, as bottled water is only available potable resource for around 2.1 billion people.

The consequences and extent of damage micro plastics can cause are still unknown, yet one thing is clear that it is causing major water pollution. Plastic is harmful in any way and micro plastics are only its derivatives only. It is obvious that they will show their toxicity to cellular activities which will automatically increase the genital or metabolic disorders. The detrimental effects of the micro plastics need to be understood in a more elaborative way.

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