There are much more plastic particles in bottled waters than previously thought – writes hvg.hu.
Bottled water available in stores may contain 10-100 times more plastic pieces than previously estimated, according to a new study by Columbia University researchers, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.
These tiny nanoparticles are so tiny that they can travel through the tissues of the digestive tract or lungs into the bloodstream and introduce potentially harmful synthetic chemicals into the body and cells.
And how big is the problem? According to the new study – which examined the mineral waters sold in the United States, but did not reveal exactly which brands, only the most popular ones – one liter of water contained an average of 240,000 plastic particles, a total of seven types of plastic. 90 percent of these were nanoparticles, CNN reported. In addition, the situation could be worse, as Beizhan Yan, a professor at Columbia University, told the paper that the water tested contained additional “inorganic nanoparticles, organic particles and some additional plastic particles that were not among the seven main types of plastic we examined.”
Commenting on the research, Behrend, director of sustainability at Penn State in Erie, Pennsylvania, said it reaffirmed the long-held principle that tap water should be drunk from glass or stainless steel containers to reduce exposure.
“In almost the same way we’re constantly shedding skin cells, plastics are constantly shedding little bits that break off, such as when you open that plastic container for your store-bought salad or a cheese that’s wrapped in plastic”
-explained Sherri Mason.
According to Mason, the chemicals can then travel to the liver, kidneys and brain, and even cross the placenta and enter the unborn child. This was confirmed by study participant Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.