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The Water Surprise

Well, surprises form a big part of our lives. Some fill our hearts with a sudden wave of wonder and happiness and there are some that break our beliefs and to some extent, our blind trusts. We are all aware of the harmful effects of plastic pollution or plastic bottle pollution. But most of us are ignorant to what degree the reach of these pollutants are. Having talked on the same in the past few writings, here is another real case that is bound to give you a big surprise and make you aware of the reality behind some of the things you closely trust.

Whenever we are unsure of the drinking facilities in the places we live, without a second thought, we just pop up onto a nearby store and order a bottle of mineral water. There is absolutely no question on the quality of the water stored in those ‘refined’ plastic bottles and our common notion seems to have accepted the fact that it’s one of the purest forms of water that is available to drink. Well, hold those thoughts right where they are because a comprehensive study by researchers from the State University of New York has something else to say. Upon examining thousands of samples from multiple globally renowned mineral water brands in numerous countries, the study has revealed the presence of significant concentrations of micro plastic particles in the water that we so thoughtlessly drink!

Yes, unfortunately what you just read is true! Polypropylene, the material used to manufacture bottle caps, tops the list of micro plastic particles found, followed by nylon. Needless to say, many other plastic polymers were also found. Densities of these tiny devils varied from bottle to bottle with some showing up to 10,000 particles per litre. Obviously, the question arises- why and how? How is it possible that such contamination wasn’t found before? One reason could be that packaged drinking water industry is loosely regulated and hence the problems were never tackled properly, or our techniques have not evolved to such a level in this industry that mass detection of micro plastics is possible. Despite close quality control measures and filtration techniques, micro plastics has leached into the contained water and has contaminated the same, ideally making it unfit for drinking. This when combined with numerous studies that suggest plastic bottles leach multiple contaminants into the constituent liquid like carbonyls, antimony, phthalates, and other chemicals, the effects, upon prolonged exposure, could be disastrous for all. The truth has been reflected in some medical studies. For instance, a study by a renowned clinical team in Navi Mumbai few years back found growing tendencies of genetic abnormalities in newborn children due to the chemicals in plastic bottles. Also, endocrine disruptor chemicals were also exposed to the newborn children from this plastic bottle pollution that has lead to significant clinical problems.

This is high time that we become aware not only of the term plastic pollution, but its real effects on the world as a whole. The menace has percolated into our daily lives, our daily activities that determine our very existence. To poison water is to poison the root of being alive and today plastic has done that. Who are we to blame, for it’s a taste of our own menace. Therefore, instead of thinking, let’s act. Let’s discard anything related to plastic, anything that is packaged in plastic. For example, an alternative in this case could be glass water bottles. This is the call for waking up from the pit we are digging for ourselves. We need to discard plastic and defy our own untimely catastrophe.

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