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Water- the essence of life, is the bases of humans on earth. But this legacy of nature doesn’t remain unaffected by the booming industrialization and pollution spread across the globe.

In a recent research conducted by Orb Media, a nonprofit journalism organisation based in Washington DC, USA, bottled water is found to be contaminated with microplastic particles.

According to the research, on testing 259 plastic water bottles of 11 brands from nine countries, 242 bottles were found contaminated with microplastics.

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WHO concerns to analyse the issue and determine the health hazards microplastics can cause to human health but the threat of an increase in certain kinds of cancer, lower sperm count, increase in ADHD and Autism has raised the attention of the various health organisations globally.

Researchers claim the presence of the most common plastic fibre polypropylene which is also used to make bottle caps.

The branded packaged water samples contained a global average of 10.4 plastic particles per litre. While some bottles had zero plastic particles others had more than 10,000 particles in a single bottle.

The brands Orb Media said it had tested were: Aqua (Danone), Aquafina (PepsiCo), Bisleri (Bisleri International), Dasani (Coca-Cola), Epura (PepsiCo), Evian (Danone), Gerolsteiner (Gerolsteiner Brunnen), Minalba (Grupo Edson Queiroz), Nestlé Pure Life (Nestlé), San Pellegrino (Nestlé) and Wahaha (Hangzhou Wahaha Group).

Meanwhile, the packed water is the fastest growing beverage market in the world at $147 billion per year, people consume about 10.9 billion gallons per year.

What are microplastics?

Microplastics are referred as plastic fragments sized between 0.33 mm to 5 mm. It can originate primarily from microbeads present in cosmetics, fibres from clothing and plastic degraded from larger plastic products.

Common dangers of drinking bottled water

  • may result in breast cancer, testicular cancer and prostate cancer
  • weight gain
  • serious impact on the functioning of various organs.
  • hormonal imbalance
  • long-lasting effect on the reproductive system

Healthier substitutes to packaged water

  • use of glass water bottles
  • use of stainless steel water bottles
  • using carbon filters to remove larger particles from tap water and enhancing the taste of water.
  • Installing RO devices at homes, offices and various public places.

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