Bottled water drinkers might be drinking plastic! A recently released study from the State University of New York at Fredonia and the non-profit journalism organization Orb Media tested 259 water bottles from 11 international brands, including Nestle Pure Life, Aquafina, Dasani, and San Pellegrino for the presence of plastic particles in the water.

They found that 93% of the bottles contained microplastic contamination with an average of 10 microplastic particles per liter of water! Some brands had substantially more microplastic particles per liter. For example, Nestle Pure Life was found to have 930 microplastics per liter! Microplastic particles are classified as pieces of plastic less than 5 millimeters long or 5000 microns.

Some of the larger pieces were identified as polypropylene, which is commonly found in the plastic used to make bottle caps. Other types of plastic found included polystyrene, commonly used as packing peanuts and disposable cutlery; nylon, often used to create fabrics and fibers; polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is commonly referred to as polyester.

Lead researcher and Chemistry Chair for the Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences at SUNY Fredonia, Sherri A. Mason says “I think [the plastic] 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.”

Researchers disagree the effect that microplastics can have on the human body, but recent studies have found there may be connections to increases in specific kinds of cancer, lower sperm count, ADHD, and autism.

In response to the study, the World Health Organization has confirmed it is launching a review into the potential risks of drinking bottled water. Read more about the study here.

How should your office respond?

Switch to a Quench water cooler with advanced filtration! Our advanced carbon filter is NSF certified to removes sediment and other impurities, including microplastics, larger than 1 micron or 0.001 millimeters. A single human hair ranges from about 10 to 200 microns. Our advanced carbon filter also reduces 99.9% of lead as well as heavy metals like arsenic and mercury; reduces microbial contaminants like cysts, cryptosporidium, and giardia; and eliminates off-tastes and odors caused by chlorine, sulfides, and other chemicals.

Need more reason to switch? Quench customers often save up to 50% versus water delivery costs! Find the right water cooler for your workplace today with our Product Finder!