One bottle of water contains 240,000 plastic fragments: New study | Health

A new study has sounded alarm bells around bottled water concluding that micro nanoplastics in these bottles could be far more than estimated earlier. With a staggering 2,40,000 plastic fragments, the bottled water has up to 100 times more microplastics than previously thought, said a new study. Around 90 per cent of these tiny plastic bits are nanoplastics – particles that are less than a micron in size and can be absorbed into human cells and tissue, as well as cross the blood-brain barrier. While the presence of microplastics in plastic bottles was previously known, the technology to better identify micro and nanoplastics was lacking. (Also read: How microplastics are affecting your child’s health)

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is the first attempt to identify nanoplastics in bottled water.(HT image)

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is the first attempt to identify nanoplastics in bottled water.

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The scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty laboratory used sophisticated imaging technology called SRS microscopy to study water samples from three popular brands and found hundreds of thousands of bits of plastic per litre of water.

Research on the effects of plastic on human health is not extensive and scientists have started to identify presence of plastics in people’s bodies and organs.

Harmful effects of microplastics

Microplastics can enter bloodstream and cause digestive issues, inflammation, and disrupt nutrient absorption apart from causing developmental delay in children. They can also make their way to developing foetus and to prevent exposure to microplastics, it is crucial to avoid using plastic bottles, lunchbox or any kind of plastic packaging.

According to various studies, mothers can pass microplastics via the placenta to a developing foetus. These chemicals cause serious harm to the health of the children.

“Even if they’re not that toxic at a larger particle size, when they become smaller they become toxic, because they can interfere in the cells, in the tissues, inside of the organelles,” said Beizhan Yan, a Columbia environmental chemist and a co-author of the study.

Tackling dangers of microplastics

“It is essential to ensure that parents try to limit the exposure to microplastics found in products and in the environment, and the toxic chemicals linked to them. Do not give your children food products with plastic packaging. Opt for glass milk bottles instead of plastic ones to feed your baby. Do not give plastic toys and objects to children who put them in their mouths. Although, you can allow them to play with wooden objects,” Dr Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist & Pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Pune told HT Digital earlier.

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