So, studies are showing that plastics are just about everywhere now, including in most water we drink. And, it’s not just the plastic itself – “microplastics” can carry bacteria and other pathogens.
It seems impossible to avoid ingesting them. I wonder if the plastic bits in tap water are so small that filtration methods can’t catch them? Maybe we should learn how to distill water at home?
Or maybe just throw our hands in the air and declare humanity itself a cancer?
“We don’t know what the [health] impact is and for that reason we should follow the precautionary principle and put enough effort into it now, immediately, so we can find out what the real risks are,” said Dr Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, who conducted the research.
Mahon said there were two principal concerns: very small plastic particles and the chemicals or pathogens that microplastics can harbour. “If the fibres are there, it is possible that the nanoparticles are there too that we can’t measure,” she said. “Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying.” The Orb analyses caught particles of more than 2.5 microns in size, 2,500 times bigger than a nanometre.
Microplastics can attract bacteria found in sewage, Mahon said…