The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a report that observes the impact of microplastics in drinking water on human health.
Although microplastic content in drinking water is increasingly found, so far there is no evidence that this is risky for humans. Every year, worldwide plastic production reaches more than 300 million tons, and 50% of this amount is used only in single use. Plastic is not easily decomposed when disposed of, and it takes hundreds of years for a plastic bottle to decompose. Instead, plastic waste in the environment will break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic.
Small pieces of plastic, or microplastics, will then seep into soil and water, and also water supplies. A review recently collected 50 studies in which scientists found microplastics in fresh water, drinking water and wastewater. Some of these studies mention the existence of thousands of microplastic particles in every liter of drinking water.
In theory, when you drink water, some microplastic particles are small enough to pass through the intestinal wall and enter the circulatory system. Whether this happens or not, and whether it will have an impact on human health, is still uncertain. Because plastic is everywhere around us, it is very important for all of us to understand the side effects and dangers of microplastics.
The Potential Dangers of Microplastics in Drinking Water
According to the WHO report, there are 3 ways microplastics can affect human health:
1. Physical: Microplastics can enter the body and damage internal structures
2. Chemistry: For example, plastic additives such as plasticizers can contaminate drinking water
3. Biofilms: Microorganisms can attach to microplastics and form colonies, which can cause health problems
Although these three methods still require further research to determine the level of danger, it can be concluded that the greatest potential is the physical influence of microplastics.
According to researchers’ analysis, microplastics that are larger than 150 micrometers may not enter the human body, while smaller particles can enter, but the amount is very limited.
Absorption of nano-sized particles may be more common, but the data that is currently available are still limited. Animal studies show that our bodies may absorb very little microplastics. However, the WHO report explains that this study uses “very high microplastics exposure that would not occur in drinking water.”
Impacts of Microplastics on Drinking Water Quality
So far, there has not been much research on the impact of microplastics on the quality of drinking water consumed by humans. This is caused by people’s lack of attention to the dangers of plastic waste that can affect their lives. But lately, more and more people have realized the importance of reducing plastic waste and adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle. And it is hoped that in the next few years, we can better understand the impacts of microplastics on the quality of daily drinking water.
For now, the recommended solution by WHO is to ensure better water treatment. Proper treatment effectively removes more than 90% of microplastics in drinking water supplies. This is why proper filtration of drinking water is needed. Alva Water purifier presents internationally certified filtration technology to fulfill the needs of drinking water for your whole family. Check out the leading features of this premium water purifier product and get better and healthier quality pure drinking water!