A new study across nine countries has revealed that the world’s leading brands of bottled water are contaminated with tiny plastic particles that are likely seeping in during the packaging process.
Widespread contamination with plastic was found in the study led by Microplastic researcher, Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Researchers tested 250 bottles of water in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand and the United States.
Plastic was identified in 93 percent of the samples, which included major name brands such as Aqua, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life and San Pellegrino.
Other brands that were found to contain plastic contaminated included Bisleri, Epura, Gerolsteiner, Minalba and Wahaha.
The plastic debris included nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (pet) and polypropylene, which is used to make bottle caps.
“In this study, 65 percent of the particles we found were actually fragments and not fibers,” Mason told AFP.
“I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water. I think that most of the plastic that we are seeing is coming from the bottle itself, it is coming from the cap, it is coming from the industrial process of bottling the water.”
Particle concentration ranged from “zero to more than 10,000 likely plastic particles in a single bottle,” the report said.
Experts cautioned that the extent of the risk to human health posed by such contamination remains unclear.
“There are connections to increases in certain kinds of cancer to lower sperm count to increases in conditions like ADHD and autism.
“We know that they are connected to these synthetic chemicals in the environment and we know that plastics are providing kind of a means to get those chemicals into our bodies,” said Mason.