Maybe you have read the recent news that 93% of bottled water around the world and 92% of tap water is contaminated with microplastics*. A recent report also concludes that the average person could be ingesting 100,000 pieces or 250 g of microplastics per year.
What do we know about the health impact of and how can you remove microplastics from your tap water?
How much microplastics does bottled water contain?
The two studies of of bottled water and tap water by Orb Media are the largest of their kind. Orb Media analyzed 250 bottles from 9 different countries around the globe. An average of 40 plastic particles per gallon, each larger than the width of a human hair, were found in bottled water.
See original infographic by Statista here.
Read more about Orb’s bottled water study here.
What about microplastics in tap water?
It’s not just bottled water. Another study by Orb Media, found that 94% of tap water in the USA and 72% in Europe contained microplastics. There are therefore good reasons to be concerned about how to filter microplastics from tap water.
How much microplastics do we consume?
New research combining the results of more than 50 studies globally has found that on average, people could be ingesting about 5g of plastic every week – equivalent to a credit card – in the air they breathe, the food they eat and, especially, the water they drink.
This amounts to about 100,000 tiny pieces of plastic – or 250g – every year, said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the University of Newcastle on Wednesday (June 12). The study was commissioned by WWF and done by the Australian university.
Read more in the WWF report.
What is the health impact of drinking and eating microplastics?
We are all worried about what it might do to humans and animals in the long term. The fact is that we don’t know yet. No one knows the health consequences yet, but better safe than sorry.
How can you remove microplastics from tap water at home?
First of all, the smallest microplastics measured by Orb in tap water were about 2.5 micrometres, although most considerably bigger. It’s important to understand the size as this will impact the type of filtering required.
There are three types of filters that will help remove microplastics of this size:
- Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) faucet filters: Filters contaminants down to about 5 micron so will remove most but not all microplastics.
- Carbon Blocks faucet filters: The most efficient ones, such as the Cleanwater Combi or Cleanwater Original system will remove 100% of all known microplastics.
- Reverse Osmosis filters: Can filter down to to 0.001 micron so will remove all known microplastics, but are more expensive to run, they use electricity and waste a lot of water. Also RO will strip your tap water of the good minerals and require maintenance call outs.