Dasani, Evian, Aqua, Aquafina – all these top mineral water brands have been found to be contaminated with plastic particles, according to a research study by State University of New York at Fredonia.
Researchers tested 250 bottles of water in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States.
In 93 percent of the bottles tested, a significant amount of plastic particles were found in the mineral water.
The bottles tested included major names such as Dasani and Evian, which can be found commonly in Singapore as well.
The plastic contamination included particles of polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make bottle caps.
The concentration of particles in the larger 100 micron (0.10mm) size range were found at an average rate of 10.4 plastic particles per litre, while smaller particles averaged 325 particles per litre, study results found.
Researchers have postulated that the plastic contamination occurs during the industrial process of bottling the water.
The risk of consuming plastic particles in bottled water remains unclear. However, there are connections to increases in certain kinds of cancer to lower sperm count to increases in conditions like ADHD and autism, according to microplastic researcher Sherri Mason, who led the study.
Jacqueline Savitz, chief policy officer for North America at Oceana, a marine advocacy group that was not involved in the research, said the study provides more evidence that society must abandon the ubiquitous use of plastic water bottles.
“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 more urgent now than ever before to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past.”
Alternatives and Tips:
While it might not be possible to ditch drinking from plastic bottles entirely, tap water has been found to actually be cleaner of foreign particles than bottled water.
For those who are unaware, tap water in Singapore is drinkable. However, boiling the water first is still advisable, as your water pipes/taps themselves may be contaminated.
Additionally, it is best to avoid reusing plastic bottles repeatedly, as this could potentially cause increased contamination of plastic particles in the water over time the more times it is used.