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Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles

16 March 2018

Regardless the risk, it's still jarring to learn that plastic is in a fancy bottled water being sold under a tagline like "Nothing but pure refreshment" (Aquafina), "Pure life begins now" (Nestlé Pure Life), "The essence of purity" (Evian), or "The secret is in the Alps" (also Evian).

"I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water".

In the study, which has not been published in a scientific journal and was commissioned by journalistic outlet Orb Media, researchers at State University of NY at Fredonia tested water from 259 bottles produced by 11 different companies and purchased in nine countries.

It is hard to tell what, if any, impact the ingestion of microplastics can have on our health, with our current understanding of the reactions between its chemicals and the human body very limited.

"But at the moment we don't know".

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"My understanding, however, is that we don't have any direct evidence of what the actual plastic particles can do to us".

Microplastics are small plastic particles from a variety of sources including cosmetics, clothing, industrial processes, packaging materials and the degradation of larger items. In beach hoppers this caused weight gain, reduced performance, and even death.

Researchers have established that tiny particles of titanium dioxide can pass through the lining of the gut so the same might be possible with plastic, raising the question of where it would then end up.

"These may cause a variety of health problems downstream".

However, new research by Washington DC-based Orb Media, a non-profit journalistic enterprise, shows that a single bottle can hold dozens or possibly even thousands of microscopic plastic particles. "Microplastic particles are found across our environment, including soil, air, and water", PepsiCo India said in a statement given to media outlets on Thursday.

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While more research needs to be done to confirm the raw findings, it is a fact that all is not well regarding these so-called healthy alternatives to tap water.

Orb's findings are "pretty disturbing", said Lovera, who noted the world is still "playing catch-up" in determining the potential harm to humans from all the plastic disposed in oceans and the environment.

"Bottled Coke, Pepsi and orange juice may have all the same health concerns", he said. "We stand by the safety of our bottled water and remain committed to providing consumers with the highest quality products".

However, there are some bottled water brands that are specially created for kids and are bottled in glass recipients. A new smart labelling and tracking system was launched a year ago to detect safety of the five-gallon water bottles and ensure they aren't overused. The global industry is worth €119 billion ($147 billion) a year.

That said, the organization's priority remains "promoting access to safe water for 2 billion people who now use and drink contaminated water", the spokesperson added.

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"Soft drink companies are shifting a marketing emphasis from sugary drinks to so called "low-calorie" beverages", Ms Potter said.

Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles