How Do Microplastics Impact Your Health?
Recent Study Finds More Than H2O In Your Bottled Water
Bottled water is commonplace, but a recent study discovered that you may be getting more than just water with each sip. Research conducted by scientists at the State University of New York in Fredonia compared bottled water from all over the world. The objective was to determine if there were microplastics in single-use bottles of water. When the findings were tallied, 93 percent of the bottled water tested was contaminated with microplastics.
Plastic is becoming a health problem. An increase in plastic bag bans across the world is aiming to reduce plastic trash, but the presence of microplastics is a major health concern. Keep reading to learn more about microplastics and the impact they can have on your health.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic that measure less than five millimeters in length. These tiny plastic pieces can be created when a larger piece of plastic breaks down. For instance, if a single-use plastic water bottle is tossed aside as litter and ends up in the ocean, the plastic will break apart over time; never fully decomposing. The plastic pieces will continue to break apart into smaller and smaller pieces until eventually, they reach microplastic distinction.
Microplastics can also be introduced into water through the use of microbeads. Tiny pieces of plastic, known in the cosmetic industry as microbeads, are sometimes used in toothpaste, body wash or facial cleansers in order to help whiten teeth or remove dead skin cells. When these tiny plastic microbeads are washed down the drain they contaminate the water. Many states and countries have banned products containing microbeads.
At this point, it is not known how the microplastics ended up in the bottled water. It is possible the plastic bottle itself began to break down. It is also possible that the water was contaminated before it was even bottled.
It is important to note, that microplastics are so tiny they cannot be seen by the naked eye. The only way to find microplastics in the water is through the use of a dye, which is how the scientists in Fredonia conducted their research.
Impact of Microplastics
The presence of microplastics in the world’s oceans has been a concern for a while. Scientists are concerned that as marine animals consume microplastics it can lead to poisoning, infertility and possibly even genetic disruption.
As microplastics are introduced into the food chain these problems could eventually impact humans. Some of the microplastics identified in the study are so tiny they could possibly be absorbed into the body if consumed. Consuming bottled water containing microplastics will speed up the process.
The best solution is to try to avoid microplastics as much as possible. Bottled water offers a lot of convenience, but opting for a reusable water bottle makes it possible to stay hydrated on the go and reduce your exposure to microplastics.
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