Economy

Billions are drinking water contaminated with plastic

Billions are drinking water contaminated with plastic”

And you're not alone: That's likely the case for billions of people across the world, according to a new study from Orb Media.

According to the study, commissioned by the data journalism website Orb and conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, the highest rates of contamination was found in Lebanon and India, while the lowest occurred in Europe, where 72% of samples contained fibers.

A new research has revealed that over 80 percent of the world's tap water is contaminated with plastic, with United States has the highest rates at 93 percent followed by India. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

The microplastics are defined as extremely small pieces (less than 5mm) of plastic debris resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste.

Scientists warn microplastics are so small they could penetrate organs.

This microplastic contamination has led to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health. "At the very least, I hope that our work triggers large scale, global research on plastic contamination and the ramifications for human health - particularly that of children".

The effects of microplastics in the bodyMicroplastics are known to contain and absorb toxic chemicals and research on wild animals shoes that they are released in the body when consumed.

"There are certain commons that connect us all to each other, air, water, soil, and what we have universally found time and time again is if you contaminate any of those commons, it gets in everything", Sherri Mason, an expert on plastic pollution at the State University of NY in Freedonia, told Orb.

Earlier this year, a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found invisible plastic particles washed off synthetic clothes are one of the major sources of marine plastic pollution.



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