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Microplastics may be invisible to the eye but the tiny plastic particles, 5mm or smaller, are found in clothing and beauty products and may also come in the breakdown of larger plastic items. Sadly, these microplastics can then enter our water through surface run-off; via wastewater that enters rivers and oceans; pollution in the atmosphere transported by wind and snow and from mineral water bottles.
We consume microplastics in various ways. In food, for example, high sources of microplastics are commonly found in beer, salt, and shellfish. However, the main source is drinking water. A new study from the University of Newcastle, Australia found the average person consumes 1,769 particles (about 5g) of plastic every week from bottled and tap water. How badly we’re affected depends where we live: there’s twice as much microplastic found in US and Indian than in European or Indonesian water.
Scientists suspect that microplastics pose a bigger health hazard than previously thought. The long-term effects are not clear, but studies are underway.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London and author of The Diet Myth says, 'We know virtually nothing about the potential risks of humans accumulating plastic in our intestines, and exactly how our gut microbes will respond to these synthetic chemicals - but it's unlikely to be good news.'
To avoid consuming microplastics through drinking water, we advise using a Doulton® water filter system. Our systems are designed to remove microplastic particles (and other contaminants) from drinking water.