How much plastic do you ingest when you drink from plastic bottles?

Source: Volkskrant december 2022, Tomas van Dijk


Tiny pieces of plastic are found everywhere today, even in human blood. One of the following reasons: tightening (and loosening) plastic bottle caps.
Plastic is everywhere. Through wear and tear, pieces break off and this is how microplastics are created. And those pollute, call the air and our food, also our drinking water. And especially mineral water. Researchers at Wageningen University recently wrote about this in the journal Journal of Hazardous Materials. They were struck by three (random) brands of mineral water from Dutch supermarkets, with an average of 96 particles of 10 or a few micrometers per liter.

An American study from 2018 even found more than three hundred particles per liter in a guaranteed test with mineral water from various countries, including the United States, Brazil and India.

We pee or defecate most of the particles. But not all. Earlier this year, researchers at the VU University in Amsterdam discovered various plastics in the blood of test subjects, including PET and polyethylene. The average was 1.6 micrograms per milliliter. That ‘plastic soup’ in our veins is not without risk, health scientists. The accumulation of plastic in tissues could lead to chronic inflammation.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was the most suspected contaminant in the blood. It was also the number one polluter in the Wageningen study. A large part of that material probably ends up in the water when tightening (and later loosening) the cap.

‘But we have other plastics against us’, says Bart Koelmans, head of the Microplastic Lab in Wageningen. “That indicates that plastic enters the water during production at the factory, and may have come from equipment piping.”

To read the full scientific article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389422017368

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