Microplastics are in Bottled Water

January 28, 2024

Microplastics in Bottled Water

Those bottles of fresh spring water, pure and clean! They are everywhere. At work, in the Mall at machines, we think we are getting something pure. Well, we are also getting something on the order of 250,000 particles of nano-plastics per bottle. That's smaller yet than micro. Researchers at the University of California, Irving, developed a "hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) imaging platform with an automated plastic identification algorithm" to precisely count those tiny little particles with algorithms to prove they were measuring plastic particles. This is a new technology for accurately evaluating whether it is a plastic origined particle or something else.

This is important because this technology is orders of magnitude greater than previously measured by other techniques. We have known about the problem, just not the full scope and level of exposure. These particles are no simple, inert pieces of plastic. They have all sorts of nefarious, unintended consequences. They clearly have the ability to disrupt your endocrine system. The American Endocrine Society has issued an alert to that effect. They estimate that these particles run up our national health care bill by $250 billion a year.

These so-called Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals or EDCs if you want the lingo. They are not rare. There are, by conservative estimates, more than a thousand manufactured chemicals in use today that are EDCs. Known EDCs that leach from plastics and threaten health include bisphenol A and related chemicals, flame retardants, phthalates, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dioxins, UV-stabilizers, and toxic metals such as lead and cadmium. Plastic-containing EDCs are used extensively in packaging, construction, flooring, food production and packaging, cookware, health care, children's toys, leisure goods, furniture, home electronics, textiles, automobiles and cosmetics. Deep breath. Are you concerned yet?

Do a deep dive into the topic and you will find EDCs and microplastics are in your brain, in your pregnant fetus, in every gland ever studied, your lungs, your blood vessels. They carry all sorts of toxins by binding them and then releasing them in your blood. This is just bad news.

Start in little steps. The water you that comes in a plastic bottle has hidden little poisons in them. That includes the sodas, the energy drinks, juices, you name it. If it comes in plastic, you have a problem.

www.What will Work for me? Not everything has been studied yet by this technology, but the message is pretty clear. Water from a Reverse Osmosis system in glass is a safe bet. If you want a further layer of cleaning, you can even purchase your own distiller at home and distill a gallon at night when electricity costs are lower.

References: NPR, PNAS, Endocrine Society, Endocrine Society, Particle and Fiber Tox, The Guardian,

Pop Quiz

1. How many nanoparticles of plastics are in one plastic bottle of "Nature's Best, Purest Spring Water" (made up name)?                   Answer: 250,000

2. What's changed that we can measure so many?                           Answer: Laser technology and high-speed computers with RAMEN hyperspectral scattering can see particles accurately that are two to three orders smaller than what we could detect before.

3. Do those particles get into me?                        Answer: Yes. Into your brain, your fetus, your testes, your heart, your.....every cell in your body.

4. What's the problem with those plastics other than penetrating deep into you?                        Answer: All sorts of toxins are used to make the plastic stretchier, more durable, more flame retardant hitchhike along...not to mention all sorts of other environmental toxins that stick onto them.

5. How can I avoid them?                         Answer: Transition to glass, ceramic, or metal bottles for water, for leftovers, for carryout, and for any food that you eat or drink.