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Does the plastic debris found in bottled water affect our bodies? © Getty Images

Does the plastic debris found in bottled water affect our bodies?

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Plastic in the water, plastic in the air, plastic everywhere!

Asked by: Jane, Derby

Almost certainly, although we still don’t know how serious the harm is. Plastic particles are present in almost all bottled water – and tap water too, though only at about half the concentration. Most of the particles in bottled water are polypropylene, which is used in the bottle tops and is generally regarded as food safe (which means it can safely be used in food packaging). Yet microscopic particles could harbour other contaminants or bacteria.

Tiny plastic particles are essentially ubiquitous in the environment now. A typical washing machine load releases 700,000 particles from clothes fibres, and a 2015 study found that in Paris, 10 tonnes of plastic particles settle out of the air every year.

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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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