However, unlike during the old days, many people today depend on bottled drinking water. Unfortunately, most bottles used in bottling the drinking water are plastics.
While plastic materials are okay, not all plastics are created equal. There are certain types of plastics harmful to health.
What The Studies Found?
A study1 published back in September 2018 found widespread plastic contamination on bottled water. The study took samples from 259 bottled water sold in various countries. Hence, this is not only rampant in the United States but in other countries, as well.
Shockingly, the researchers found that 93% of these bottled water contain microplastic, synthetic polymer particles. Sherri Mason, the author of the study, says that many of those microplastic particles were not that small.
Some were definitely visible without a magnifying glass or microscope.Source
In case you are wondering the brands tested during the study, you can check the data here.
The study concluded;
Of the 259 total bottles analyzed, 93% showed signs of microplastics. There was significant variation even among bottles of the same brand and lot, which is consistent with environmental sampling and likely resulting from the complexities of microplastic sources, the manufacturing process and particle-fluid dynamics, among others.Mason SA, Welch VG, Neratko J. Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water. Front Chem. 2018;6:407. Published 2018 Sep 11. doi:10.3389/fchem.2018.00407
In another more recent study2 further proves that the microplastic particles found in bottled water are also present in the air in France specifically, in the Pyrenees Mountains.
Unfortunately, the same microplastic particles are also found in groundwater in the U.S.3
Should We Worry About It?
Scientists say they are not clear yet as to how plastics can affect human health, its mechanism. But plastics have been shown harmful to humans and the environment.
It has also been shown that plastics are toxic to human in a Bangladesh study.
How Can We Help?
Perhaps, one of the most effective ways for us to help is reducing the use of plastics. In the case of bottled water, hopefully, manufacturers will find a way to reduce the use of plastic bottles.
On the consumer side, let us utilize reusable water bottles like glass bottles and some plastics proven to be safe. Plastics with numbers 2, 4 and 5 are generally considered as food-grade plastics.
It means, it can be used for storing water.
What Can We Do At Home?
Most homes are supplied with tap water that comes from the main water supply within the city or municipality.
However, to be safer, installing a water filter consisting of several stages can help. It is especially helpful with highly fluoridated water supply.
Hence, to eliminate fluoride concerns in tap water, installing a water filtration system is a good idea. There are many water filtration system with 3 to 5 stages.
Those people living in rural and highlands with pristine spring water are very fortunate. It is that kind of water from nature intended for human consumption. But, in urbanized areas, installing a water filtration system is a good and practical thing to do.