NEWS: Concern over microplastics in water

The World Health Organization wants a 'further assessment of microplastics in the environment and their potential impacts on human health’ after carrying out in-depth research.

They have been looking into a range of studies about microplastics in drinking-water.

Dr Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health, said: “We urgently need to know more about the health impact of microplastics because they are everywhere -  including in our drinking-water.

“Based on the limited information we have, microplastics in drinking water don’t appear to pose a health risk at current levels. But we need to find out more. We also need to stop the rise in plastic pollution worldwide.”

According to the analysis microplastics larger than 150 micrometres are ‘not likely to be absorbed in the human body and uptake of smaller particles is expected to be limited’.  

It added that: “Absorption and distribution of very small microplastic particles including in the nano size range may, however, be higher, although the data is extremely limited.”

The study concludes: “Wastewater treatment can remove more than 90% of microplastics from wastewater, with the highest removal coming from tertiary treatment such as filtration. 

“Conventional drinking-water treatment can remove particles smaller than a micrometre. 

“A significant proportion of the global population currently does not benefit from adequate water and sewage treatment.

“By addressing the problem of human exposure to faecally contaminated water, communities can simultaneously address the concern related to microplastics.”

To read the study click here

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