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Why Is There Plastic In My Bottled Water?

Why Is There Plastic In My Bottled Water?

"We stand by the safety of our bottled water products", the American Beverage Association said in a statement.

Pepsi, which makes Aquafina, said the science behind microplastics was "emerging", and needed further research to determine if it was a true health risk.

A study published on Wednesday tested 250 water bottles in nine countries to find that leading brands of bottled water were contaminated with tiny plastic particles, likely seeping in during the packaging process.

Conducted by journalism organisation Orb media, the study, conducted at State University of NY in Fredonia, considered 259 bottles bought from different lots in 19 locations in nine countries, including India.

Researcher Abigail Barrows of Ocean Analytics, who carried out the research for Story of Stuff in her laboratory in ME, told The Guardian there were several possible routes for the plastics to be entering the bottles.

It is not yet clear how microplastic in bottled water can affect human health.

The health implications of ingesting micro plastic particles are numerous.

Using Nile red dye to reveal the particles in the water, researchers found evidence of microplastic contamination in bottled water. Others had nylon and polyethylene terephthalate, used to make polyester.

Bottled water is not alone.

Children in front of a huge pile of plastic bottles
Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles, report reveals

Researchers have established that tiny particles of titanium dioxide can pass through the lining of the gut so the same might be possible with plastic, raising the question of where it would then end up.

Of all the bottles tested, 17 were found to have no particles at all while many had counts ranging into the hundreds or even thousands, with big differences within brands and even the same pack of bottles.

"As we become more aware of the prevalence of microplastics and the potential of harm they might cause, I think we need to start thinking now about how we can reduce those inputs", said Andrew Maye of University of East Anglia. "Was it from factories, homes or companies?"

Only seventeen bottles out of the 259 bottles analysed showed no microplastic contamination, indicating that 93 per cent of the bottled water tested showed some sign of contamination. The most secure way to consume water, he said, is tap water with the right filters.

A Nestle spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the safety and quality of their products is priority for all their consumers. Retail purchase, package preparation, and acceptance by shipping office of most sample cases were documented with video and still photography to confirm chain of possession, researchers said in the report.

However, he confirmed that the UAE abides by the global standards set on water manufacturing companies worldwide to ensure product safety.

"We found [plastic] in bottle after bottle and brand after brand".

This is double the level of microplastics in the tap water tested from more than a dozen countries across five continents, examined in a 2017 study by Orb that looked at similar-sized plastics.

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