Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles

There is no evidence that consuming such small particles of plastic has any ill health effects

"I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water", Mason said, according to USA Today.

"We need to understand if these things are risky, and if they occur in water at concentrations that are unsafe", World Health Organization coordinator Bruce Gordon said.

For the report, which is not a peer-reviewed academic study and has not been published in a journal, researchers tested 259 different bottles purchased from 19 locations across 9 different countries.

They found plastic in 93 percent of the bottles that included brands like Aquafina, Evian, San Pellegrino, Aqua, Dasani, Nestle Pure Life.

The plastic debris included polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate, that is used to make bottle caps. "There's a prevalence of microplastics in all of them". They are also manufactured intentionally, as microbeads used in skin care products.

On average, plastic particles in the 100 micron (0.10mm) size range - known as microplastics - were found at an average rate of 10.4 plastic particles per litre.

Other, smaller particles were also discovered - 314 of them per litre, on average - which some of the experts consulted about the Orb study believe are plastics but can not definitively identify.

Only 17 bottles of the 259 studies contained no contamination. In 2016, about 4 billion pounds of plastic were used in the bottled water business, and most of those bottles are not recycled-meaning they often end up in landfills or as litter.

"For WHO to make an informed risk assessment, we would need to establish that microplastics occur in water at concentrations that would be harmful to human health", Chaib said. Unfortunately, when it comes to microplastic pollution, bottled water may not be better than tap.

Gerolsteiner, a German bottler, and Nestle both said their own tests found much lower quantities of microplastics in their water than the amount found in the Orb study.

Plastics are present almost everywhere and can take hundreds of years to degrade, if at all. The global average was 325 particles per liter.

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"We know plastics are building-up in marine animals, and this means we too are being exposed, some of us, every day", she said.

"It's not straightforward", said Prof.

He replied: "The scientific literature says that not only is the jury not yet out on this question but the jury has not yet been convened on it".

Scientists now are trying to figure out what microplastic does in the human body.

"This is shocking", Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, told Orb.

This may not seem like a huge deal at first-the bottles are made up of plastic, after all-remember that because plastic doesn't break down, it can accumulate wherever it lands, including our bodies.

"Even the simple act of opening the cap could cause plastic to be chipping off the cap", Mason said.

As part of the tests, Orb Media analysed water from US, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Lebanon, Kenya and Thailand. It was shipped to the specialized lab at SUNY in Fredonia, N.Y.

The report also notes that far smaller particles were also identified using a dye that binds to plastic.

People are generally advised to drink filtered tap water in reusable containers.

. "Our study verifies that", said Sherri Mason, a professor and microplastics researcher who conducted the study at Fredonia.

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