With a market value of nearly $150 Million per year, bottled water from leading brands  have been found to be 90 per cent contaminated by microplastics, posing potential harm to humans. A  person who drinks a litre of bottled water a day might be consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year.

Plastic was identified in 93 per cent of the samples. Particle concentration ranged from zero to more than 10,000 in a single bottle. On average, plastic particles in the 100 micron (0.10mm) size range  known as microplastics  were found at an average rate of 10.4 plastic particles per litre. Even smaller particles were more common, averaging about 325 per litre.

Bottles of water from the same brand contained a wide range of plastic contamination, with particles as small as 6.5 microns.

To test the invisible plastic in bottled water, the team of WHO scientists used a special dye, an infrared laser and a blue light.Under a laminar airflow hood that sucks dust and airborne particles up and away, each bottle was infused with a dye called Nile Red that binds to plastic polymer. The dyed water was then poured through a glass fibre filter. When viewed through a microscope, under the blue beam of the crime light, with the aid of orange goggles, the residue from each bottle glowed with the flame-coloured fluorescence of sometimes thousands of particles. The study identified particles between 100 microns and 6.5 microns.

FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT

Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.

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