Microplastics in drinking water " don't pose health risk" - WHO

Microplastics in drinking water

PanARMENIAN.Net - There's little evidence to suggest that microplastics in the water you drink pose a risk to you health.

In its first review on the health risks of plastic in tap and bottled water, the World Health Organization said that microplastics "don't appear to pose a health risk at current levels," but the key finding came with a big caveat -- the review said available information was limited and more research was needed on microplastics and how they affect human health, CNN reports.

"We urgently need to know more about the health impact of microplastics because they are everywhere -- including in our drinking water," said Dr. Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health at WHO.

WHO said it did not recommend routine monitoring of microplastics in drinking water and said that concerns over microplastics should not distract water suppliers and regulators from removing microbial pathogens, such as those causing deadly diarrheal diseases.

In its analysis, WHO looked at three potential hazards linked to microplastics: the physical particles, chemicals, and the micro-organisms that may attach themselves to microplastics.

Based on the limited evidence available, chemicals and microbial pathogens were a low concern for human health, the report said. 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. Absorption of very small microplastic particles, including the nano size range may, however, be higher.

It added that were was insufficient information to draw conclusions on the toxicity of nanoparticles, but no reliable information suggested it is a concern.

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