Water bottles appear to be way more hazardous than ever thought. Specifically, plastic water bottles’ nanoplastics are health hazards to humans and animals. Shout out to anybody who values his/her health: THIS SHOULD BE A LIGHT BULB MOMENT. One simple change can yield a big positive healthy impact.
Scientists have known and informed the public about microplastics and their devastating impact on wildlife especially on aquatic animals. Most people understand that eating seafood today – farmed and especially wild – likely means eating some level of plastics.
Beaches around the globe, even the most remote beaches are littered with plastic bottles, toys, toothbrushes, AND plastic chips, meaning partially deteriorated plastic. The artist Alejandro Duran shows us in his work “Washed Up” that plastic containers and objects of all colors can be found in even the most remote and protected areas of Mexico.
New Findings On Plastic Water Bottles
In a study just published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” and also discussed by the prestigious Columbia Climate School we learn that health impacts from nanoplastics are way worse than expected.
While scientists could measure additional tiny particles and had named them nanoplastic they lacked the tools to identify individual compounds. Recent technological breakthroughs – simulated Raman scattering microscopy or SRS microscopy by Wei Min, a Columbia biophysicist – changed that: Researchers can now specify all of these so-called “unspecified” nanoplastics. The result: We now know that our bodies are WAY MORE exposed to plastic than we ever thought! Here are five (5) important findings to understand.
4 Things Are Now Clear About Plastic Water Bottles
(1) The study states that microscopic particles “…can pass into blood, cells and your brain”. That’s simply scary! Add to that “The researchers found “240,000 detectable plastic fragments – 10 to 100 times greater than previous estimates, which were based on larger sizes”.
(2) Plastic Water Bottles Are Hazardous but are these off-brand bottles perhaps?
“The researchers tested three popular brands of bottled water sold in the United States (they declined to name which ones), analyzing plastic particles down to just 100 nanometers in size. They spotted 110,000 to 370,000 plastic fragments in each liter, 90% of which were nanoplastics; the rest were microplastics. They also determined which of the seven specific plastics they were, and charted their shapes—qualities that could be valuable in biomedical research”.
(3) What kind of compounds are we exposed to via plastic water bottles? Per this study
Polyethylene terephthalate or PET. One recent study suggests that many particles enter the water when you repeatedly open or close the cap, and tiny bits abrade. The same EWG study finds that each twisting of the cap to open the bottle alone can produce up to 500 microplastics leading to over 16,000 microplastic particles in a single year. This is simply staggering!
It doesn’t end here:
(4) PET was outnumbered by polyamide, a type of nylon. “Ironically”, said Beizhan Yan, “that probably comes from plastic filters used to supposedly purify the water before it is bottled. Other common plastics the researchers found: polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, and polymethyl methacrylate, all used in various industrial processes”.
How Widespread Are Nanoplastics?
The new findings lead to further questions. For example: Are nanoplastics found only in areas populated by humans? The Columbia Climate School reports that “teams are collecting snow samples from remote places in Antarctica” to answer this question.
Further, with plastic water bottles found to be hazardous are there studies to go deeper? Yes, studies are underway to find out where nanoplastics are commonly stored in our bodies / in our tissues, and at what levels. More work needs to be done to understand the health effects on child development, for example. But this new data on nanoplastics is clear: None is good – it’s time for change in our living habits.
SHGLiving Creatives Provide Suggestions
Two SHGLiving creatives are way ahead of us. Check out Ashley Renne’s attempt to live one day plastic-free. And then, also check out Gittemarie’s Johansen, the latest addition to SHGLiving’s forward-thinking hosts coming soon. Gittemarie comes from Denmark, a country generally considered to be way more focused on living sustainably.
Both report honestly that it is not easy. And both are offering non-plastic, bio-degradable alternatives. Watch both Ashley Renne and Gittemarie Johansen and be inspired to create change in your life your your and your family’s better health.
So specifically where can you start? How about this idea; At the time of this article, we are a few days away from Valentine’s Day. Need a meaningful Valentine’s Gift? How about a way more impactful gift to your sweetheart? Instead of flowers, why not a bottle made of food-grade steel so the next workout is truly providing a healthy experience?! Create change in YOUR life!
Image by Arshad Pooloo