Microplastics Found in Bottled Water Prompts WHO Health Inquiry

Indian companies contest plastic in water bottles study

Indian companies contest plastic in water bottles study

'We assure consumers that all of our bottled waters are safe to drink.

Mumbai:The state university of NY had conducted a survey on bottled water worldwide, including India.

However, the World Health Organization has said it will begin to study this matter to give the public better guidance. "We are now investigating this issue", Chauhan added.

Plastic was identified in 93 percent of the samples, which included major name brands such as Aqua, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life and San Pellegrino.

The Nile Red method has gained credibility and is considered a reliable way to test plastic particles in water samples.

The study, which was conducted by the State University of NY and non-profit organization Orb Media, sampled 259 water bottles from 11 brands across 19 locations in 11 countries and found that 93 percent of them showed microplastic contamination. A similar Orb Media study showed that, while tap water contains the same microplastics, concentrations are lower.

Samples came from 19 locations in nine countries on five continents.

In 2016, 500 million bottled plastic water and beverages were sold worldwide which means that the consumption and dependency is quite high.

Professor Sherri Mason spearheaded the research, in which each bottle was infused with a dye called "Nile Red" that binds to plastic polymer before being placed under a laminar airflow hood that removes dust and airborne particles.

None of the other companies agreed to publicize their plastic contamination test results, according to Orb Media.

Ms Mason says this testing reveals how plastic is everywhere.

"Aquafina maintains rigorous quality-control measures, sanitary manufacturing practices, filtration and other food safety mechanisms which yield a reliably safe product for enjoyment anywhere in the world". No food safety authorities in the advanced countries including FCA, or EUFA have set residue level for microplastic or microfibre, he said.

In Indonesia, Tempo worked together with the University of Indonesia's (UI) chemistry lab to independently test three brands of bottled water that are widely available in Indonesia; one brand was the same brand with the one tested in the US.

A previous study also found high levels of microplastics in tap water.

The research said that for microplastic debris around 100 microns in size, about the diameter of a human hair, bottled water samples contained almost twice as many pieces of microplastic per liter (10.4) than tap water samples (4.45).

WHO has however in a release announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world's most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90 percent contained tiny pieces of plastic. Around 4,000 children die every day from water-borne diseases.

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