You may reach for that single-use plastic water bottle out of convenience, necessity or for its promise of crisp, filtered hydration, but a new study from SUNY Fredonia has found that out of the 250 bottles sampled in nine countries, almost all of them contained very small plastic particles.
Bottles of water from Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life, San Pellegrino, Aqua, Bisleri, Epura, Gerolsteiner, Minalba and Wahaha were all sampled and, according to Fortune, “None of the brands came out entirely unscathed.”
The study found that on average, 10 plastic particles per liter were found, each larger than the width of human hair. Because the science on the effects on ingesting these small particles, or “microplastics,” is still being studied, in the U.S., there is no current regulation in place as to “safe” levels of plastic particles in food and drink.
“We found [plastic] in bottle after bottle and brand after brand,” Sherri Mason, a professor of chemistry at SUNY Fredonia told BBC News. “It’s not about pointing fingers at particular brands; it’s really showing that this is everywhere, that plastic has become such a pervasive material in our society, and it’s pervading water—all of these products that we consume at a very basic level.”
While many people rely on plastic bottles as their sole option for access to clean water, for those of us who have the luxury of turning on the tap, this study serves as one more reason to reach for that refillable water bottle whenever possible.