Plastic is becoming a serious worldwide problem. It is a real threat to our health and a harmful presence in the environment. Plastic is found on our streets as waste, polluting our oceans, washing up on our beaches, being digested by animals and appearing in the air we breath. And now, plastic can even be found in bottled water that we consume on a daily basis.
The media has been highlighting a recent report by Orb Media that found that some of the most popular bottled water brands like Aquafina, Nestle, Evian and Dasani contain small plastic particles. This means that millions of people around the world have been digesting plastic-based chemicals, possibly for decades. The most significant findings by Orb Media included:
- Bottled water has twice the amount of microplastic in it than tap water.
- Some plastic bottles have as many as 10,000 microplastic parts in a single litre.
- The plastic particles are the same kind of plastic used to make the bottle caps.
- The microplastics are the same width as a human hair, which causes them to go undetected.
- 93% of the bottled water brands that were tested contained some microplastics (1).
Plastic has infiltrated every
aspect of our lives and worryingly, that also includes tap water. For instance, 94% of tap
water in the USA contains microplastics (2). Studies have found that plastic enters our
waterways through a number of means including plastic piping, deteriorated
plastic and plastic waste. In further research, both farmed and wild fish have been studied to determine the affects of plastic in our
waterways, and in both cases, microplastics were found inside these fish (3).
Microplastics and Our Health
What are the health implications of consuming microplastics? The research conducted on how plastic consumption can affect human health leads us to make the following conclusions:
In the process of making plastic, there are thousands of chemical additives that are used to form and shape the plastic. These additives include stabilisers, plasticisers, flame retardants, pigments, fillers and BPA (Bisphenol A). When inhaled or digested, these chemicals can accumulate in the body and cause toxicity inducing or enhancing an immune response (3).
We know that BPA, a chemical used in plastic, is harmful for the body and is having a negative effect on our health. BPA is usually found in plastics used around foods, like in kitchenware, food packaging, inner lining of cans and jar caps. People are exposed to BPA through food packaging, dust, dental materials, thermal paper and toys. Studies have shown that BPA contributes to a number of endocrine disorders, including male and female infertility, early puberty, hormone tumours, breast and prostate cancer as well as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (4).
Action Plan: How To Reduce Your Consumption of Microplastics?
Filtering your tap water, rather than buying it in bottles, will reduce your consumption of microplastics, is better for the planet and is more cost-effective. The smallest microplastics found in tap water are approximately 2.5 microns. Santevia’s Gravity Water System (Dispenser and Countertop model) use a 0.3 micron filtration media that will filter out microplastics in your tap water. Santevia’s Gravity Water System also reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals while restoring your drinking water by adding beneficial minerals that makes any potable water alkaline. Santevia filters restore ordinary acidic tap water into great-tasting alkaline water that mimics a natural mountain stream.