It took us a while to notice, but now it’s clear that plastic pollution is everywhere: in the air we breathe, in the food we eat, and the water we drink.
Last year, an unsettling analysis found more than 90 percent of the world’s most popular bottled water contained tiny bits of plastic. In some cases, concentrations reached 10,000 pieces per litre.
Moved by these results, the World Health Organisation decided to launch a safety review. If microplastics were being swallowed day in and day out by humans all over the world, then health officials needed to know what that was doing to our bodies.
The results from their analysis have now been published, but they don’t exactly inspire a sigh of relief. With scant data available on both hazard and exposure, the authors were only able to review nine studies on microplastics in drinking water, and many of these were deemed unreliable in some way. Read more