Top bottled water brands are contaminated with plastic particles, study finds

Study finds top bottled water brands are contaminated with minute plastic particles


The world’s leading brands of bottled water are contaminated with tiny plastic particles that are likely seeping in during the packaging process, according to a major study across nine countries published Wednesday.

“Widespread contamination” with plastic was found in the study, led by microplastic researcher Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia, according to a summary released by Orb Media, a U.S.-based nonprofit media collective.

Researchers tested 250 bottles of water in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Thailand and the United States.

Plastic was identified in 93 percent of the samples, which included major brands such as Aqua, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life and San Pellegrino.

The plastic debris included polypropy-lene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make bottle caps.

“In this study, 65 percent of the particles we found were actually fragments and not fibers,” Mason said.

“I think it is coming through the process of bottling the water. I think that most of the plastic that we are seeing is coming from the bottle itself, it is coming from the cap, it is coming from the industrial process of bottling the water.”

Particle concentration ranged from “zero to more than 10,000 likely plastic particles in a single bottle,” said the report.

On average, plastic particles in the 100 micron (0.10 millimeter) size range — considered “microplastics,” — were found at an average rate of 10.4 plastic particles per liter.

Even smaller particles were more common — averaging about 325 per liter.

Other brands that were found to contain plastic contaminants included Bisleri, Epura, Gerolsteiner, Minalba and Wahaha.

Experts cautioned that the extent of the risk to human health posed by such contamination remains unclear.

“There are connections to increases in certain kinds of cancer to lower sperm count to increases in conditions like ADHD and autism,” said Mason.

“We know that they are connected to these synthetic chemicals in the environment and we know that plastics are providing kind of a means to get those chemicals into our bodies.”

Previous research by Orb Media has found plastic particles in tap water, too, but on a smaller scale.

“Tap water, by and large, is much safer than bottled water,” said Mason.

The three-month study used a technique developed by the University of East Anglia’s School of Chemistry to “see” microplastic particles by staining them using fluorescent Nile Red dye, which makes plastic fluorescent when irradiated with blue light.

“We have been involved with independently reviewing the findings and methodology to ensure the study is robust and credible,” said lead researcher Andrew Mayes, from UEA’s School of Chemistry.

“The results stack up.”

Jacqueline Savitz, chief policy officer for North America at Oceana, a marine advocacy group that was not involved in the research, said the study provides more evidence that society must abandon the ubiquitous use of plastic water bottles.

“We know plastics are building up in marine animals, and this means we too are being exposed, some of us, every day,” she said.

“It’s more urgent now than ever before to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past.”


Too much doubt to execute Montgomery

Petition by Joe D’Ambrosio + OTSE
Columbus, OH
Petitioning Governor John Kasich, Ohio Parole Board
Governor John Kasich: Too much doubt to execute Montgomery
Petition by Joe D’Ambrosio + OTSE
Columbus, OH
Despite maintaining his innocence before, during, and since his trial, William T. Montgomery has been on death row for over 31 years for the 1986 murders of Cynthia Tincher and Debra Ogle in Lucas County, Ohio. Even in light of significant doubts about his guilt, Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on April 11, 2018.

Key concerns include:

1. No credible evidence ties Montgomery to the murders. Facts in the case point to other suspects who were never seriously investigated.

2. Prosecutors withheld evidence including police reports, tips about alternative suspects, physical evidence implicating the co-defendant, and eyewitness accounts that a second car was parked next to Ms. Tincher’s car just before she was killed. This information undermines the state’s entire theory of the murders.

3. The only evidence implicating Montgomery in the crime is the testimony from Glover Heard, the co-defendant in the case. Heard received a deal from the prosecution in exchange for his testimony. Heard was sentenced to 15 years to life, while Montgomery was sentenced to death. Heard’s story changed five times, and only on the fifth time was Montgomery included in the story.

Six years after the conviction, in 1992, Montgomery discovered exculpatory evidence investigators hid at trial. In addition, in 2012, a new forensic review of the autopsy files concludes that scientifically, the fist victim could not have been killed as the state claims and disproves the state’s entire theory and timeline of the case.

There are significant doubts about the validity and reliability of the conviction of William T. Montgomery.

Governor John Kasich should not allow the execution on April 11with so much doubt. The execution of an innocent man is irreversible.

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