After a thorough investigation Orb Media has released the findings of their study regarding plastic fiber contamination in drinking water. According to the results, a staggering 94% of the tap water in the United States is contaminated with plastic fibers.
The United States had the highest contamination rate of any country that was analyzed for the study. For comparison, France had the lowest plastic contamination rate at 72%. This is still an extremely high rate; overall, 83% of all samples that were tested contained high levels of plastic fibers.
The comprehensive study can be read in full at Orb Media’s website. The results were shared with publications like The Guardian that broke down and shared key figures from the findings. In the wake of these results scientific leaders around the globe called for research on the health implications of ingesting plastic fibers to be streamlined due to the widespread contamination.
The average amount of plastic fibers found in the samples of water also varied from country to country. The average amount of plastic fibers in the United States samples was fairly high: 4.8 fibers per 500 milliliters of water. Compare this rate to just 1.9 fibers per 500 ml on average in the samples from Europe.
One of the greatest health concerns related to microplastics is their ability to absorb toxic, carcinogenic chemicals. Once fish or mammals ingest plastics the toxic chemicals are later released and broken down in the gut.
According to Professor Richard Thompson of Plymouth University in the United Kingdom, “It became clear very early on that the plastic would release those chemicals and that actually, the conditions in the gut would facilitate really quite rapid release.”
There are few long-term studies researching the specific health problems in humans who ingest plastic. Nevertheless, many scientists argue that we can extrapolate the effects that plastic has on wildlife to draw the conclusion that plastic in drinking water is dangerous.
Dr. Sherri Mason, a microplastic expert at the State University of New York in Fredonia who assisted in data analysis for the study, notes that, “We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it’s having on wildlife, to be concerned.” She further comments, “If it’s impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that it’s not going to somehow impact us?”
As Orb Media asks in the course of their study, what does this newly discovered plastic contamination in our tap water mean for our health? What can concerned citizens do today as the scientific community continues to advocate for further studies and a comprehensive understanding of the dangers of microplastics?
If you own a Enviro whole house filtration system you can order a sub-micron sediment filter and add it to your current system. These filters are designed to reduce any contaminants exceeding 0.35 microns in size. To properly capture the microplastics install the sub-micron filter after the carbon filter and water softener components. Don’t wait until the results are in: take action to protect your family from plastic contamination today.