Are you drinking plastic?

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Picture of By Julia Abelsohn

By Julia Abelsohn

By now we have all heard about the many pollutants in our drinking water. Chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics and hormones are just some of the elements that have been found in tap water. Now, a recent study on tap water samples from around the world has revealed disturbingly high levels of plastic fibers. More than 80 percent of the samples they collected on five continents tested positive for the presence of plastic fibers. Microplastics — tiny plastic fibers and fragments — aren’t just choking the ocean; they have infested the world’s drinking water.


Why should I care?

Microplastics have been shown to absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses, and then release them when consumed by fish and mammals. It’s logical to assume that they would pose the same threat to humans. Plastic waste doesn’t biodegrade, it only breaks down into smaller pieces of itself, even down to particles in nanometer scale — one-one thousandth of one-one thousandth of a millimeter. Studies show particles of that size can migrate through the intestinal wall and travel to the lymph nodes and other bodily organs.


Where does it come from?

We live in a world of disposable products & packaging and mishandled plastic waste. Synthetic clothing like fleece, polyester and acrylic emit thousands of microscopic fibres with each wash. Styrene butadiene tire dust is washed into sewers and enters the water table. Norway for examples produces a kilogram of tire and road dust each year for every person.   Almost 300m tons of plastic is produced each year and, with just 20% recycled or incinerated, much of it ends up littering the air, land and sea and amounts to eight millions tons of plastic waste each year.


How bad is it?

The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94% with Lebanon and India having the next highest rates. European nations including the UK, Germany and France had the lowest contamination rate, but this was still 72%.


What can I do about it?

We use plastic products every day but by paying attention to our consumption we can greatly reduce plastic waste. Bring your own recyclable bags to shop, choose glass bottles instead of plastic, stop buying synthetic fiber clothing, and never use plastic straws.


Still, current standard water treatment systems do not filter out all of the microplastics. Best Water filtration systems remove from 5 microns to as small as .1 microns of fibers. Since most of the fibers are 10 microns in size, these filters would remove almost all of the plastic fibers from tap water.


There’s never been a better reason to buy a high quality water ionizer and filtration system. Call us and speak to one of our water specialists for more information. 877-770-5247

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Julia Abelsohn

Julia Abelsohn is a writer, editor and clinical aromatherapist. She has been sharing her expertise and passion for health and wellness for over 25 years. When not at her desk she can be found exploring the many trails and green spaces near her home in Edmonton, Alberta.

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