Evian, Fiji, Voss, Smart Water, Aquafina, Dasani—it’s amazing how many brands we have that people have been using for thousands of years. According to years of research Bottled water is no safer to drink than tap waterAmericans are more. Drinking more bottled water than ever beforeSales of bottled water reach billions of dollars.

People mention comfort and taste in addition to being known for safety Reasons to choose to touch the bottleBut the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn’t help when emergencies like floods contaminate tap water or when tests show problems with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in most of the US, you can safely carry a glass of water. From the pipe.

And now, new research on nanoplastics has been discovered Three popular bottled water brands More information is pouring into bottled tap water choices.

Columbia University researchers have used a new laser-guided technology to identify nanoplastics that were previously undetectable due to their small size. The new technology can identify, quantify and analyze the chemical structure of nanoparticles and found seven different main types of plastics: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate.

On the contrary, a A 2018 study found about 300 plastic particles On average, in one liter of bottled water; The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences In January 2024, an average of 240,000 nanoplastic particles were found per liter bottle among the three brands studied. (The brand names were not disclosed in the study.)

Unlike microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to see under a microscope. Their size is exactly what experts are concerned about, because they can invade human cells and disrupt cellular processes.

Columbia researchers have discovered that bottled water contains hundreds of thousands of previously uncounted plastic particles – particles that enter the bloodstream and directly into our bodies.

“At this point, micro and nanoplastics have been found in humans. They’ve been found in human lung tissue. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” said study author Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Ernest Marion School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. He told CNN Health.,

We know that nanoplastics are entering our bodies. We don’t yet have enough research into what it means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How much nanoplastic is required for injury and/or disease? What kind of injury or disease can they cause? Can they have any effect at all? We simply don’t have an answer. Still for these questions.

Not that there is any cause for concern. We know that there are certain levels of exposure to microplastics It has been shown to negatively affect cell viability. Nanoplastics are smaller – does this mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working on that.

According to Dr. Sara Benede of the Food Science Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council, it’s not just the plastics themselves, but what can come with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] “They have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, so they act as carriers for all kinds of substances, including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics or microorganisms,” says Dr. Benede. He told Medical News Today.

Where does this plastic in the water come from? This research has almost always focused on bottled water packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are often made of plastic.

Are some of these nanoplastics found in water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, however Microplastics have been found in lakes, streams and other freshwater sourcesSo it’s not a big deal to think that nanoplastics may be entering freshwater ecosystems as well. however, Microplastics are present in bottled water at much higher levels than in tap water. Therefore, it is not a stretch to assume that most nanoplastics come from the bottling process and packaging, rather than from freshwater sources.

But the truth is, we still don’t know.

“Based on other studies, most of the microplastics found in bottled water are from plastic bottle leaks, which are typically made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” said Nixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University. , He told CNN Health.. However, we found that there are many types of plastic in a single bottle of water and that different types of plastic have different size distributions. PET particles are larger, while others are down to 200 nanometers, which is very, very small.

We need to drink water, and we need to drink clean water. At this point, we have many environmental reasons to avoid bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opt for tap water instead. Although more research is still needed, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water may be another reason to make the switch.