Bottled mineral water is a quick and concise solution to relieve thirst. However, a large study found that some bottled mineral water products sold on the market had been contaminated with microscopic plastic particles that allegedly seeped in during the packaging process. So, what is the danger if these plastic particles are swallowed into the body?
Many branded bottled mineral water containing microscopic plastic particles
The team of scientists at New York State University examined water samples from 259 bottled mineral water purchased from nine different countries - namely Indonesia, Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand and the United States. All samples of mineral water are known to be produced by 11 different large mineral water manufacturers.
They revealed that microplastic particles were contained in 93% of the sample. The study also found that there were at least 325 plastic particles per one liter of water. However, some bottles have concentrations of more than 10,000 micro-plastic particles per liter, with several pieces as wide as strands of human hair.
The research team also found that there were various types of plastic particles found in the bottled water sample. Among them are polypropylene, nylon, polystyrene and polyethylene. Up to 65 percent of plastic particles found are fragments, not fibers.
Only 17 of the 259 bottles are completely free of plastic contamination.
Is it dangerous if swallowed?
Microscopy is a plastic particle that is very small and does not appear to be visible. Even there are many studies that show that microplastic exists in almost every environment on Earth and can be found in the stomach of many species of seabirds and other marine animals, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That is why micro plastic particles can escape or avoid the water filtration process.
According to the latest report, microplastic is also contained in bottled water. Even so, health experts from various parts of the world have not been able to fully ascertain the health risks of microplastic consumption of health.
Small studies in lab animals have found that microplastic contamination can cause cancer, hormonal disorders, and other health problems. Sherri Mason, a professor of chemistry at the University of East Angalia, said that microplastic consumption is associated with an increased risk of cancer, ADHD, autism, and a decrease in sperm count, quoted from DW.com.
Even so, there is not enough solid evidence regarding the real effects of microplastic on human health. The concern of a number of experts is that plastic is a material that cannot be recycled and cannot be decomposed. They argue that it is not impossible in the end the microplastic component can penetrate the body's cells and be absorbed into the organs of the body.
This risk is not absolutely absolute and will depend on how much is digested, and how long the particles have been lodged in the human digestive system.
Bring your own drinking bottle safer and better
The report about microplastic particles in bottled mineral water does not necessarily mean that you stop drinking water. Many benefits that you can get from diligently drinking water, not only against dehydration.
As a precautionary measure, it would be better if you bring your own bottle. In addition to preventing all possible unwanted risks, bringing a bottle to drink by yourself can also be a step towards loving the earth by reducing the amount of plastic waste.
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