How Safe Is Your Bottled Water? The Hidden Danger of Nanoplastics

First Published: January 16, 2024
Channel: News

It seems that nothing is safe anymore.

But bottled water being bad for our health? Say it isn’t true!

We all know that drinking water is essential for our health and well-being, but there have been stories in the news suggesting that the water we drink from plastic bottles may contain hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic particles that could harm our bodies, according to a study posted by the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

These particles are called nanoplastics, resulting from the breakdown of larger plastic pieces into smaller and smaller fragments. Unlike microplastics, which are visible to the naked eye or under a microscope, nanoplastics are so small that they can only be detected by special instruments. They are measured in billionths of a meter, or nanometers, about 1,000 times thinner than human hair.

Nanoplastics are everywhere in our environment, from the air we breathe to the soil we grow our food in. However, one of the primary sources of exposure for humans is from consuming water from plastic bottles.

But why should you care about these tiny particles? Well, because they have the potential to enter your bloodstream, your cells, and even your brain. Unlike microplastics, which are mostly excreted by the body, nanoplastics can pass through the intestinal and lung barriers and travel to different organs and tissues¹². They can also cross the placenta and affect the development of unborn babies¹.

The health effects of nanoplastics are still unclear, but some studies have suggested that they can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, immune dysfunction, altered metabolism, impaired cell proliferation, disrupted microbial pathways, abnormal organ development, and cancer³⁴. Nanoplastics can also carry toxic chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, which can leach from the plastic and interfere with the hormonal system.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

  • Avoid drinking bottled water as much as possible. Use a reusable bottle and fill it with tap or filtered water instead. This will reduce your exposure to nanoplastics, save money, and help the environment.
  • If you have to drink bottled water, choose glass or metal bottles over plastic ones. Glass and metal are less likely to release plastic particles into the water and are more durable and recyclable.
  • Store your bottled water in a cool, dark place, away from sunlight and heat. High temperatures and UV rays can accelerate the degradation of plastic and increase the release of nanoplastics and chemicals into the water.
  • Do not reuse plastic bottles or use them for hot liquids. Reusing plastic bottles can increase the risk of bacterial contamination and the release of nanoplastics and chemicals. Hot liquids can also leach more plastic particles and chemicals from the bottle into the water.
  • Support research and regulation on nanoplastics. We still don’t know much about the sources, distribution, and effects of nanoplastics on the environment and our health. We need more scientific studies and public awareness to understand and address this emerging issue. We also need more policies and regulations to limit plastic production and use and promote safer alternatives.

Nanoplastics are a hidden danger that we cannot ignore. By making informed choices and taking action, we can reduce our exposure to these tiny particles and protect our health and the health of our planet.

Further Reading

News-Medical – Bottled water harbors a quarter of a million tiny plastic particles, posing unknown health risks

Bottle Water Industry Pushes Back on Health Risks Study

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