Tuesday August 20, 2019

Plastic Found in 83% Drinking Water on Five Continents, Nobody is Safe

While the health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, it is not something you would want to consume

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Plastic
A shelf full of various kinds of bottled water is pictured at a supermarket in Beijing. (VOA)
  • Tiny particles of degraded plastic called microplastics found in drinking water
  • Consumption of microplastics by fishes are known to stunt growth, inhibit hatching of eggs and increase mortality rates
  • The tiny pieces of plastic have been found in both, public taps and bottled water

London, September 7, 2017 : Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in drinking water on five continents – from Trump Tower in New York to a public tap on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda – posing a potential risk to people’s health, researchers said on Wednesday.

Plastic degrades over time into tiny particles known as microplastics, which were found in 83 percent of samples from Germany to Cuba to Lebanon analyzed by U.S.-based digital news organization Orb Media.

“If you ask people whether they want to be eating or drinking plastic, they just say, ‘No, that’s a dumb question,’ ” said Sherri Mason, one of study’s authors and a chemistry professor at the State University of New York.

“It’s probably not something that we want to be ingesting, but we are, whether through our drinking water, through beer, juice. It’s in our food, sea salt, mussels. Nobody is safe,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Microplastics of up to 5 millimeters are also in bottled water, she said.

The health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, but studies on fish have shown they inhibit hatching of fertilized eggs, stunt growth and make them more susceptible to predators, increasing mortality rates.

Microplastics absorb toxic chemicals from the marine environment, which are released into the bodies of fish and mammals who consume them, Orb Media’s chief executive, Molly Bingham, said in a statement.

While many studies have shown the prevalence of microplastics in the world’s oceans, where more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating, it is the first time research has been conducted into drinking water. (VOA)

Next Story

Sri Lanka to Ban Coloured Plastic Water Bottles and Wrappers

A large amount of these useless plastic covers are released to the environment daily and they take 200 to 300 years to degrade

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Sri Lanka, Plastic, Water Bottle
The Information Department, quoting a statement by State Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Ajith Mannapperuma, said that the government had received a positive response to suspend the manufacture of blue-coloured plastic water bottles and plastic wrappers. Pixabay

Sri Lanka will soon ban coloured plastic water bottles and wrappers on drinking water bottles in order to protect the environment, officials said on Tuesday.

The Information Department, quoting a statement by State Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment Ajith Mannapperuma, said that the government had received a positive response to suspend the manufacture of blue-coloured plastic water bottles and plastic wrappers as it would help protect the nation’s environment.

“A large amount of these useless plastic covers are released to the environment daily and they take 200 to 300 years to degrade. The reason for covering these sealed water bottles using non-degradable plastic wrappers is unclear,” the Minister was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

“Water bottles have been coloured to attract customers. But coloured water bottles cannot be recycled. So plastic bottle manufacturers were instructed to manufacture transparent bottles,” he added.

Sri Lanka, Plastic, Water Bottle
Sri Lanka will soon ban coloured plastic water bottles and wrappers on drinking water bottles in order to protect the environment, officials said on Tuesday. Pixabay

The government will launch a new project later this month to recycle transparent plastic bottles, the statement said.

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The project has already been implemented in Gampaha, on the outskirts of capital Colombo. (IANS)