Published: April 16, 2018

    Major Bottled Water Brands Test Positive for Plastic Particles in Bottled Water

    In a large scale investigation Orb Media has revealed that more than 90% of the name brand bottled water samples they tested contained a significant amount of microplastics. An average amount of 10 plastic particles per liter were found in the 250 water bottles purchased from 9 different countries. For this measurement, each particle counted measures larger than 100 microns, or the width of a human hair.

    Plastic waste is a top environmental concern around the world, but many citizens don’t realize the extent to which plastic waste has filtered into our environment on a microscopic scale. According to the report released recently, plastics have become concentrated in oceans, lakes, rivers, wetlands, and even within organisms as small as plankton.

    What is perhaps surprising is that bottled water, presumed to be pure and clean, is as susceptible to plastic contamination. Sherri Mason, a chemistry professor who conducted the analysis of the samples, 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 – all of these products that we consume at a very basic level.”

    There is no verified scientific evidence that consuming small amounts of microplastics can cause health problems, but concerned citizens may not want to wait to find out before getting plastics removed from their drinking water.

    Bottled water is extremely helpful to citizens in parts of the world where clean drinking water is not readily accessible, but in countries where tap water is a viable option consuming water full of plastic while also using a plastic bottle seems like a poor choice.

    While only some of the brands tested admitted to the BBC that their bottled water is known to contain a certain amount of microplastics, they also defended the findings by stating that there are no current regulations in place to limit the amount of microplastics in bottled water.

    In order to accurately account for the plastics within the bottled water samples scientists added a dye called Red Nile to the water. In previous studies the dye has been proven to stick to plastic particles and cause the particles to fluoresce when viewed under certain light wavelengths. Red Nile dye is already used to detect plastic waste in seawater.

    In addition to the average 10 plastic particles per liter measuring larger than 100 microns, the team of scientists found an average of 314 particles assumed to be plastic that measured smaller than 100 microns in width. The composition of these particles could not be confirmed due to their size, but Professor Mason noted that they are “rationally expected to be plastic,” as other options like shells or algae would not likely be present in bottled water.

    The most common type of plastic found within bottled water was polypropylene, which is a plastic used in the manufacture of bottle caps. 54% of the microplastics found in the study were polypropylene particles.

    Instead of drinking bottled water and exposing yourself to the possibility of plastic contamination switch to drinking fresher, filtered tap water at home. You can use a refillable sports bottle on the go to reduce plastic waste. In addition, if you’re concerned about microplastics in your drinking water you can install a sediment filter to reduce particles down to 5 micron in size. Rest easier trusting Pelican Water to provide your family cleaner and safer water.