Study finds microplastics in 93% of bottled water samples

Workers sort plastic bottles for sale at a plastic recycling factory in R10 Tondo Manila. ABS-CBN News file

International Bottled Water Association President and CEO Joe Doass said in a statement that the report's findings "do nothing more than unnecessarily scare consumers", and added that "The bottled water industry is committed to providing consumers with the safest and highest quality products", reported USA Today.

A study by the State University of NY in Fredonia has found that a large number of plastic bottled water brands contain microplastics.

A damning new study has revealed leading brands of water bottles are contaminated with tiny plastic particles.

Researchers found 93 per cent of all bottles tested contained some sort of microplastic, including polypropylene, polystyrene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). That's about twice the level of contamination discovered in the group's earlier study on plastic contamination in tap water.

Using an infrared microscope, the researchers found that, for particles around 0.1 millimeters in size, there's roughly 10.4 per liter (2.3 gallons) of bottled water in various major brands.

Experts cautioned that the extent of the risk to human health posed by such contamination remains unclear.

There is no evidence that consuming such small particles of plastic has any ill health effects, but it comes at a time of heightened global concern of plastic pollution and the effect it is having on the environment.

A few bottles were found to have thousands of particles - the vast majority being the smaller ones that are "probably plastic" - but others from the same pack had virtually none. It is also used to make bottle caps. However, smaller particle were even more common-they averaged 325 per liter.

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However, there are some bottled water brands that are specially created for kids and are bottled in glass recipients. "Now what we need is a determination to get it done - before it gets us". "I think most of the plastic we are seeing is coming from the bottle itself, it is coming from the cap, it is coming from the industrial process of bottling the water". "Was it from factories, homes or companies?" In the largest investigation of its kind, 250 bottles bought in nine different countries were examined. Scientists put the dyed water through a filter and then viewed samples under a microscope. They also point to the absence of any regulations on micro-plastics and of the lack of standardized methods of testing for them.

The Dubai Municipality implements safety measures and inspections on groceries, supermarkets and food entities.

Some scientists say more research is needed.

But Jane Muncke, managing director of the Food Packaging Forum, told the site the plastics could be getting lodged in the body tissue.

In response to the study, several brands questioned the methodology or said that the amount of plastic was overstated.

Leading brands have defended the safety of their bottled water saying that their own tests showed significantly less contamination than in research.

Microplastics are the result of the breakdown of all the plastic waste that makes its way into landfills and oceans. "That's besides the marine effects and air pollution it has".