A new report claims bottled water frequently contains tiny particles of plastic in it. The study, which was conducted by the State University of New York at Fredonia and non-profit journalism organization Orb Media, analyzed 259 bottles of water from 11 different brands sold across nine countries, including the United States. And the results may give you pause before you drop two bucks on the most abundant resource on earth.

93 percent of the bottles tested positive for microplastic contamination. They averaged 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water. That’s double the level detected in tap water. The plastic particles included polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make bottle caps. Aquafina, Dasani, Nestle Pure Life, and San Pellegrino were among the brands tested.

In an interview with French media outlet AFP, researcher Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia had this to say about the contamination, “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.”

Experts are unclear on the extent that these plastic particles pose a risk to human health, but warn that synthetic chemicals have been linked to various forms of cancer and other ailments.

While the study wasn’t peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal, the results are being carefully considered. The World Health Organization recently confirmed to BBC that they were launching a review of the risks of drinking bottled water.

In case you needed another reason to stick to tap water, plastic water bottles are incredibly unsustainable. Though they are recyclable, it can take over 1000 years for the average bottle to break down. Also, when you factor in production and transportation, the environmental impact becomes even more destructive, given the reliance on fossil fuels.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jessica is a former Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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