Numerous Micro and Nanoplastics in Bottled Water, According
to a Study
Several well-known brands of bottled water have been found to
have incredibly high quantities of micro and nanoplastic
particles, according to a recent study that used sophisticated microscopy
Over 200,000 plastic particles were identified in each liter
on average, with 90% of them falling into the nanoscale category, which is
smaller than 1 micrometer. When compared to larger particles, these present
greater health concerns.
The tiny synthetic polymer fragments most likely come from
water treatment procedures, purification filters, and components used in
plastic bottles. However, there are serious concerns about the safety of
packaged drinking water due to their vast number and potential for spread.
Novel Approaches to Measurement
Due to the difficulties in recognizing such minuscule
particles smaller than a single bacteria using conventional analytical methods,
previous studies significantly overestimated the prevalence of nanoplastics.
In order to tackle these obstacles, the scientists utilized a
sophisticated method known as stimulated Raman scattering microscopy, which was
recently developed by study coauthor Dr. Wei Min from Columbia University.
The scientists can now systematically scan bottled water
samples thanks to this remarkable precision and chemical specificity in
detecting microplastics based on their unique molecular structure.
Nanoparticles of plastic in billions
An astounding average of over 110,000 plastic nanoparticles
per liter was confirmed by analysis of three leading brands; this is around
three to ten times more than previous maximum estimates.
Roughly 10% of them were effectively matched to seven popular
consumer plastic kinds, such as nylon and PET. However, the origin of the
remaining 90% of the detected particles was unknown.
The average yearly use of 73 liters of bottled water for
residential use contains around 8 billion nanoplastic particles, and the
hazards of consuming such quantities are yet not fully understood.
Possible Routes of Exposure
While more research is required, preliminary findings
indicate that, in contrast to bigger microparticles restricted to the gut,
nanoplastics can quickly reach the human bloodstream after ingestion.
The astounding volumes currently expressed in terms of
bottled water indicate a possible exposure pathway. Toxicological risks are
presented by the increased surface area of nanoplastics, which also permits
chemical leaching and toxin absorption.
The HungryMicros study identifies potential sources of
contamination during purification and packing, including plastic filtration
membranes, bottle degradation, resin ion exchange systems, and coagulation
Looking for Safer Substitutes
More alarmingly, it was shown that the amount of these
purification-derived particles exceeded even the amount of plasticizer
chemicals leached under heat and pressure from common bottle materials, such as
Customers who are concerned about the frequency of
nanoplastics in bottled water as this study reveals may logically think about
safer options while waiting for more firm health recommendations. Filtered tap
water at the point of use is a reasonably priced way to get essential mineral
nutrients without using plastic.
In any case, the startling new data emphasize how urgent it
is to comprehend the biological effects and dispersion of nanoplastics,
particularly in commonly consumed goods.