By – Vijender Reddy – Co-Founder and CEO of DrinkPrime
Drinking a glass of water from that sealed plastic water bottle or plastic water can cause us to down more than just water – microplastics! Drinking water may be the biggest contributor to microplastics in our diet. Studies have found microplastics in more than 90% of the most reputed bottled water brands across the globe; India stands second based on the microplastic concentration in the tested bottled water samples
What are microplastics and does your mineral water can/bottle contain them?
According to research conducted at Penn State Erie on microplastic presence in 259 bottles of water – 11 brands, in 11 countries – 93% of water samples contained microplastics like polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate.
Microplastics are pieces of plastic fragments, smaller than five millimeters and larger than 100 nanometers in size. They are formed due to the breaking down or weathering of larger plastic pieces and from products that intentionally contain microplastics. From your sweat-absorbent gym wear and your scented face scrub to that chamomile tea bag and sparkly toothpaste, microplastics are present in the most unlikely places. Microplastics also find their way into the water we consume, particularly bottled or canned water.
How do microplastics affect us?
The presence of microplastics has been confirmed in human blood, stools, lung tissues, and breast milk among other places. What makes them potentially harmful is the cocktail of chemicals used to make plastic soft, rigid, etc. Even after plastic degrades into microplastics, the chemicals remain and the microplastics leach these chemicals into human tissues. These compounds can act as endocrine disruptors in your body and cause unwanted side effects.
Another potential cause of concern is the inflammation that may occur in your body when exposed to microplastics. Your body triggers an immune response when it encounters these particles. Since they do not degrade, the continual activation may trigger inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress. As we are aware by now, chorionic inflammation is the precursor to chronic illness. Inhaling microplastics may also lead to respiratory diseases, as these minute particles may penetrate deep into the lungs.
How does microplastics affect children?
In an age where we read news articles on the presence of microplastics in the placenta and even in newborn children, it is prudent that we consciously understand the extent of the exposure on our kids. From baby food, toys, textiles, and baby bottles to the water they consume, your children are constantly exposed to these substances.
Since children have underdeveloped immune systems and are in a crucial stage of development, it puts them at an increased risk. Doesn’t this put an immense responsibility on parents to ensure their kids are safe? Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to proactively limit their exposure to microplastics. The biggest change you can make starts at home – switch from bottled or canned water to a high-quality RO water purifier! It’s that simple.
How do you remove microplastics from drinking water?
The size of microplastics ranges between 100 nanometers and 5 millimeters. A RO water purifier capable of filtering out these tiny particles is your best bet. Studies have shown that membrane filtration removes up to a hundred percent of microplastics from water and appears to be more effective than other methods. A standard domestic RO Purifier has 3 stages of filtration, while a more sophisticated one can have up to five stages of filtration or more. In an RO, your input water first passes through a sediment filter which filters out all the dirt dust, and physical impurities, it then passes through an activated carbon filter, which removes all the unpleasant odors and smells such as chlorine. The final stage is the RO membrane, which contains pores as tiny as 0.0001 microns. This ensures that it filters out even the tiniest of contaminants, including microplastics.
Though there is no conclusive research to directly link microplastics and the harm they can cause, researchers are presently working to find out the long-term effects of microplastic exposure and consumption.
Unfortunately, we cannot eliminate microplastics completely from our lives. The best we can do at this point is limit our exposure, especially in the water that we consume. It is imperative that you do your research and zero in on a water purifier brand that lives up to its claims. A water filter customized to face the unique water challenge in your area is your best bet to ensure that you and your family have access to pure water, devoid of contaminants like microplastics