Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Indian Firms Contest Study Claiming Bottled Water Contains Plastic Particles

Indian Firms Contest Study Claiming Bottled Water Contains Plastic Particles

The International Bottled Water Association President and CEO Joe Doss said in a statement that the "non-peer reviewed study" isn't based on sound science, and the "study's findings do nothing more than unnecessarily scare consumers".

The study focused on particles 100 microns (0.10 millimeter) or smaller; 100 microns is about the size of a period at the end of a sentence or a grain of salt or sand, said Mason, who is the chair of the Geology and Environmental Sciences department at the State University of NY at Fredonia.

However, the World Health Organization has said it will begin to study this matter to give the public better guidance.

Some of the brands have issued statements criticizing the study. 259 bottles of 11 brands sold in nine countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and the USA were tested by researchers.

"Some of the bottles we tested contained so many particles that we asked a former astrophysicist to use his experience counting stars in the heavens to help us tally these fluorescing constellations".

The research said that for microplastic debris around 100 microns in size, about the diameter of a human hair, bottled water samples contained almost twice as many pieces of microplastic per liter (10.4) than tap water samples (4.45). Samples from India were gathered from Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

The Indonesian Government will further study the bottled waters sold in the market following the recent study which suggests that the product is contaminated with microplastic.

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Most bottled water companies stood by their methods for testing and filtering water, and experts still recommend bottled water where tap water is unsafe to drink.

The tested plastic particles are then analysed under a microscope with a crime-scene investigation light shining on the particles allowing them to glow like tiny embers, Orb Media reported.

"I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water", Mason told AFP. According to the research, Nestle tested six bottles from three locations after an inquiry from Orb Media.

PepsiCo India is among those companies that have contested the study's findings, saying: "Aquafina maintains rigorous quality-control measures, sanitary manufacturing practices, filtration and other food safety mechanisms which yield a reliably safe product for enjoyment anywhere in the world". No food safety authorities in the advanced countries including FCA, or EUFA have set residue level for microplastic or microfibre, he said.

The review by World Health Organization is to widen the study and take up more projects so that rightful evidence can be gathered on bottled water.

A new study led by a nonprofit journalism group found that more than 90 percent of several top brands of bottled water were contaminated with tiny pieces of plastic. Around 4,000 children die every day from water-borne diseases.

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