Microplastics were found in 93% of samples tested.

Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 16, 2018
Larry Washburn/Getty Images

How's this to swill on? If you're drinking bottled water, there are likely very small pieces of plastic debris, known as microplastics, floating in your drink. At least nonprofit journalism group, Orb Media, believes so, given that their recent review found 93% of tested samples had microplastics present. As a result of these disconcerting results, the World Health Organization will be investigating the potential risks of microplastic in drinking water, reports the BBC.

For their research, Orb Media had scientists conduct tests on water from 11 top brands around the world. Alarmingly, "[the tests] reveal widespread contamination with plastic debris including polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET)." The organization's news release went on to state that their tests at the State University of New York showed an overall average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter, with one bottle containing more than 10,000 particles per liter.

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While the article admits that the health implications for humans are unknown, it's not exactly reassuring to know you could be guzzling polyethylene terephthalate as you sip on a bottle of water. As New York Magazine's GrubStreet puts it, "This study’s authors note that past research has also shown vague 'connections' to pretty awful health effects, like higher odds of getting cancer, decreased sperm counts, and increased rates of conditions like ADHD, but the jury’s obviously still out." For most healthy living enthusiasts, we're guessing this is enough to make you think twice before you pick up a bottle of water.

Beyond potential health effects, microplastic pollution is wreaking havoc on planet earth's waters, land, and wildlife. Next time we're feeling thirsty, we think we'll stick to the filtered water in our fridge.