Leading bottled water brands are contaminated with plastic particles says study

10:42 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community

These can prove hazardous to human and animal health alike and cause a range of health complications.

New Delhi, 16th March 2018: A major study conducted across nine countries has indicated that the world’s leading brands of bottled water are contaminated with tiny plastic particles that are likely seeping in during the packaging process. The study found widespread contamination with plastic, an outcome of testing 250 bottles of water in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States.

Plastic was identified in 93% of the samples and the debris found included nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene, which is used to make bottle caps.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Bottled water means safety and convenience for people around the world. At a time when public health is a major area of concern, the fact that this source has also been found to be contaminated with plastic, is seriously alarming. Particle concentration ranging from zero to more than 10,000 likely plastic particles in a single bottle can mean extreme risk to human health over a period of time. From cancer to ADHD and lower sperm count to problems in newborns, the dangers are many – a situation that will need to be addressed at the earliest.”

Water bodies already suffer contamination, something that is eventually likely to seep down to humans through consumption of sea food or other sources. Single-use plastic bottles must be discarded immediately albeit safely.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Bio-accumulation of plastic inside animals is one of the most dangerous outcomes of plastic pollution. Over many years, the accumulated plastic releases harmful chemicals, and breaks down into small pieces, causing extreme discomfort to the animals. After their death, the body might decompose, but the plastic fragments may remain as a threat to other animals – and humans as well.”

HCFI food for thought.

If just one human being switched to reusable bags for their entire lifetime, it would remove roughly 24 thousand plastic-based bags from our planet. Instead of using plastic water bottles, invest in a metal, reusable water container. Not only will that be safer for the environment but also sustainable for human health. Perhaps the best course of action individuals can take is to raise awareness. It is up to us to decide what kind of a world we wish to leave back for the future generations.

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