Put Down That Plastic Bottle Of Water

The Lempert Report
May 23, 2018

Australia’s SBS News reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to launch a review into the potential health risks of microplastics found in bottled drinking water.

The review comes after a study found most of the world's leading brands of bottled water were contaminated with small plastic particles, likely seeping in during the packaging process.

Coordinator of the WHO's global work on water and sanitation Bruce Gordon told BBC News the key question was whether a lifetime of eating or drinking particles of plastic could have an effect on a person's health.

A research study conducted by US-based non-profit Orb Media found there was "widespread contamination" of microplastics across 250 bottles of water in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand and the United States. 

Lead researcher Sherri Mason told BBC News: "We found [plastic] in bottle after bottle and brand after brand." "It's not about pointing fingers at particular brands; it's really showing that this is everywhere, that plastic has become such a pervasive material in our society, and it's pervading water - all of these products that we consume at a very basic level," she said.

Ms. Mason also told AFP that most of the plastic particles were likely coming from the bottle itself, including the cap. 

Representatives from the bottled water industry took issue with the findings, saying they were not peer-reviewed and "not based on sound science," according to a statement from the International Bottled Water Association.