After a gap, I am back with something interesting. I don't want just to establish a lot of facts about the topic...as there are plentily available on the internet. Let's do something different. Let's analyze the facts and go deep into the subject.
As the title seems something vague, I mean.. how can someone drink plastic? Are we actually drinking plastic? Is it possible to drink a polythene bag or a plastic toy? But we are all doing the same, though we don't consume plastic bags or toys, but we do it when we close our eyes while drinking water contaminated by tiny fibers of plastic.
So lets first understand what are these tiny plastic fibers. I'm making you all clear from the beginning that the plastic particles which are smaller than 5 mm in diameter according to NOAA are generally regarded as microplastics, but what we consume are smaller in size. They are produced from a variety of sources including cosmetics, clothing and industrial processes. These are commonly classified into two categories as primary and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics are directly manufactured in that size whereas secondary microplastics result from the breakdown of larger plastic pieces.
It is not unknown that the aquatic and marine ecosystems have been introduced with microplastics. The aquatic organisms ingest them and these are accumulated in their bodies and tissues. Even it was investigated that zooplanktons ingest microplastic beads and their fecal matter was found to be contaminated by microplastics. However, the exact movement of microplastics in an ecosystem is still unknown. The research regarding this is currently underway.
It was about the marine and the aquatic environment. Now let's see what's there in our case. Recently a study by a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Newyork over 14 countries including the United States, seven European countries, and India showed the presence of microplastics in our drinking water. In the survey 159 tap water samples were analyzed out of which 83% were found to be contaminated. It is a big matter of concern as these particles are not separable by ordinary water purifiers. According to the researchers people may be ingesting between 3000 - 4000 microplastic particles every year. It is the very first survey to look at microplastics in drinking water. they added the highest contamination was detected in the sample from North America.
While the health risks regarding microplastic consumption are still unknown but they could cause inflammation. Sometimes they even bind with toxins and organic pollutants. Though the health consequences are completely not known but better safe than sorry. So here are some methods by which we can remove microplastics from tap water.
Microplastics in Marine Environment
- Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Faucet Filters
- Carbon Blocks Faucet Filters
- Reverse Osmosis filters and Ion Exchange
I will share you about above in brief in coming posts.