A study examining 11 brands of bottled water sold around the world has found that nearly every sample tested was contaminated by plastic particles.
According to the study of 259 water bottles purchased in nine different countries, a staggering 93 percent of the samples contained microplastics. Researchers at the Statue University of New York (SUNY) found an average of 10 microplastic particles per liter of water. SUNY researchers concluded that at least part of the contamination came from packaging and bottling process.
“What’s the world come to? Why can’t we have just clean, pure water?” Peggy Apter of Indiana said to Orb Media, the non-profit journalism group that organized the bottled water study.
While the study found about 10 plastic particles which were the width of a hair in water samples, researchers also detected over 300 smaller particles of plastic in each tested bottle. “We found [plastic] in bottle after bottle and brand after brand,” Prof. Sherri Mason told the BBC. “It’s not about pointing fingers at particular brands; it’s really showing that this is everywhere, that plastic has become such a pervasive material in our society, and it’s pervading water.”
The study focused on bottles produced by Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life, and San Pellegrino. Researchers also tested the popular local brands of bottled water from Indonesia, India, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, and China.
“It’s not catastrophic, the numbers that we’re seeing, but it is concerning,” Prof. Mason added. The health risks from consuming plastic particles are not fully known however, several countries and environmental scientists have already called for a ban on microplastics such as glitter.