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Here’s what you’re really swallowing when you drink bottled water

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that an average liter of bottled water contains about 240,000 microscopic plastic particles, predominantly nanoplastics, which are less than one micrometer in size
This discovery by Columbia University scientists highlights the widespread presence of these tiny plastics in bottled water

🔭 The context: Prior research has found microplastics, slightly larger than nanoplastics, in various environments and products, including oceans, Antarctic ice, and even human placentas
These findings have raised concerns about their ubiquity in daily life, with previous studies identifying microplastics in bottled water

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The study underscores the pervasiveness of plastic pollution, extending to the molecular level in everyday products
This research advances our understanding by quantifying the prevalence of nanoplastics that could potentially pose greater risks, as they can easily infiltrate biological systems, including human organs

⏭️ What's next: The research indicates an urgent need for more studies to understand the health implications of nanoplastic consumption
The World Health Organization has called for more research on microplastics' health effects, and this study suggests that nanoplastics, being more prevalent and possibly more harmful, require similar attention

💬 One quote: “Whatever microplastic is doing to human health, I will say nanoplastics are going to be more dangerous” (Wei Min, a chemistry professor at Columbia University)

📈 One stat: Approximately 90% of the plastic particles found in the bottled water sample were nanoplastics, with the remaining 10% being larger microplastics

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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