Plastic in your bottled water? World Health Organization to weigh risks

Friday, 16 Mar, 2018

But, since this new study showed that bottled water is also contaminated with plastic particles, a simple question arises - Tap water or bottled water?

While the WHO said it will look at the microplastics issue, Jasarevic said the organization's priority "remains promoting access to safe water for 2 billion people who now use and drink contaminated water".

Bruce Gordon, coordinator of the WHO's global work on water and sanitation said, "We normally have a "safe" limit but to have a safe limit, to define that, we need to understand if these things are unsafe and if they occur in water at concentrations that are risky". However, due to their diminutive size and the fact that Nile Red dye can bind to other substances such as algae or chitin, they could not definitively be identified as plastic.

Orb Media was also behind a study previous year that showed tap water around the world is contaminated with microplastics.

Reached for comment, a WHO spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch that at present, the impact of digesting plastic on human health is not known.

Two brands - Nestle and Gerolsteiner - confirmed their own testing showed their water contained microplastics, albeit at much lower levels than what Orb Media is reporting. The site said many responded by defending their brand, questioning the study's methodology and affirming that there were no regulations on microplastics in bottled water.

At one time or another, we have all grabbed a plastic water bottle from the grocery store.

Aspadin Chairman Rachmat Hidayat said that there has been no scientific consensus so far that explains the effects of microplastic towards human health.

The International Bottle Water Association released a statement in response to the study. 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. The concentrations ranged widely, from zero to an astounding 10,000 plastic particles in one bottle.

When viewed through a microscope, under the blue beam of the crime light, with the aid of orange goggles, the residue from each bottle glowed with the flame-coloured fluorescence of sometimes thousands of particles.

The huge investigation has been attempted during the research, in which 259 water bottles bought from 19 locations of nine countries naming 11 brands of most popular bottled water supplier in world, were analyzed.

Orb found on average there were 10.4 particles of plastic per litre that were 100 microns (0.10 mm) or bigger.

30 Aqua-branded bottled waters were purchased in Jakarta, Bali, and Medan, which was then flown to NY in November of 2017.

Within three decades, there will be more plastics in the oceans than fish.

The report has been submitted for peer review; the methods that the group used to test for plastic particles "are readily available", according to an OM FAQs document about the project.

WHO Spokesman Tarik Jašarević told Business Insider in an email that the organization is looking for new ways to better assess whether there's any risk involved in drinking microplastics. They aren't a new problem, but most of the current research has looked at how they're affecting ocean life.