Scientists from the University of Minnesota warn that 80% of the worlds drinking water has been contaminated by plastic
- US ranks highest with contamination rates at 93%, India and Lebanon close second
- Lowest levels recorded in France, Germany and the UK at a shocking 72%
- 83% of the 159 water samples tested from nations around the world are affected
- Current water filtration systems are inadequate against microplastics
- Scientists warn microplastics are so small they could penetrate organs.
Orb media teamed up with a researcher from the University of Minnesota to undertake a scrutiny of plastic fibers in our tap water. According to Orb Media, “We have produced more plastic in the last 10 years than in the entirety of the last century.” They said experts said plastics are probably in your food too – like baby formula, sauces, or craft beer.
These fibres and microplastics come from a variety of sources like plastic bags, plastic utensils, plastic bottles and synthetic clothes.
The research team explained that micro plastics absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses. These toxins are released into our bodies when we drink this water. They also contaminate other fish and mammals on drinking. Defined as plastic with diameter less than 5mm, there are almost invisible fragments of plastics. The plastics found in this study were 0.1 to 0.5mm in length and were in different colours like blue, black, red, brown or transparent.
The researchers tested tap water from 159 sources across the world – United States, Europe, Indonesia, India, Lebanon, Uganda, and Ecuador. The United States had the greatest amount of plastics in their water at 94 percent of samples; the researchers detected the fibers at the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, Congress buildings, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next greatest amounts of contamination. Europe had the least – but plastics were still found in 72 percent of samples there.
While plastic is in theory recyclable, only 10% of it actually gets recycled. Plastic waste breaking down into micro-plastics was the biggest invisible threat to our world, this has just been quantified through this research. Solving it means 2 things – systematically recycling every piece of plastic that comes to you and reducing the amount of plastic you use in your everyday lives.