The bottled water of many major brands around the world is contaminated by tiny plastic particles whose health hazards are unknown, says a study published Wednesday.
Researchers tested more than 250 bottles of water in nine countries, including Lebanon, India and the United States, led by Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, according to a summary of the study published on the media platform Orb Media.
Plastic was found in 93% of the bottled water samples from several brands such as Aqua, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life or San Pellegrino.
These included polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). On average, the researchers found, in each liter of water, 10.4 particles of a size of 0.10 millimeters.
“I think it comes from the bottling process, and I think most of the plastic comes from the bottle itself, its cork, the industrial bottling process,” says Sherri Mason.
“Water in glass bottles is also contained with microplastics,” says the study.
A previous study published by Orb Media showed that plastic particles were also present, although in lesser quantities, in tap water.
The extent of the risks posed by these particles to human health is unknown.
Jacqueline Savitz, North America’s director for Oceana, an NGO fighting against ocean pollution, said the study provided one more reason to limit the production of plastic water bottles.
“It is more urgent than ever today to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past,” said the NGO representative who did not participate in the study.