Water bottles contain an average of 240,000 nanoplastics

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AGI – Water bottles contain an average of 240,000 nanoplastics, never before detected, in even greater quantities than microplastics, which have been known for some time. This was revealed by a study conducted by a team of American scientists from Columbia University, whose conclusions, republished by the Times, are another reason to worry about the impact of plastics on human health.

To perform a search, they looked at three American brands of bottled water, in which they counted between 110 thousand and 370 thousand nanoplastic particles per liter. To identify these components smaller than a micrometer (or 0.001 millimeter), the researchers used a pair of lasers tuned to resonate with the energy of the plastic’s chemical bonds.

A discovery within a discovery: the tests surprisingly revealed that the material identified in the nanoplastics was not just polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) – the main material used in most bottles – but a type of nylon. In other words, it is the water we drink itself that is contaminated, probably by the nylon contained in the filters designed to clean it before bottling.

“It’s not just the number per se, but the surprising existence of plastic where you don’t expect it. You might imagine the particles are coming from your bottles, but it turns out it’s only a small fraction,” explained Columbia’s Wei Min. University. Therefore, among the many types of plastic found in nanoplastics, there are those that can be attributed to water treatment and probably to the water source itself. The same scholars said they are the first to limit the use of water in plastic bottles, but advise consumers to “personally evaluate and decide what is the right choice for you” commented Heather Leslie, an independent expert on plastic particles.

It is scientifically plausible, but it has not yet been proven that particles can cause inflammation in our body. “Nanoplastic contamination of our drinking water is one example of the convenient technology of plastic packaging that plagues us. When the toxicology of exposure to nanoplastics at this level is fully understood, virtually every human body on the planet will have to deal with it for decades,” Leslie opined. In some contexts, the researchers concluded that where water is only available in bottles, the damage caused by dehydration would be greater.

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