NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Researchers have unveiled alarming findings on bottled water, exposing the presence of nanoplastics, particles smaller than 1 micrometer, capable of entering human cells and potentially impacting organs. The study, conducted by Columbia University, discovered that a typical one-liter bottle of water contains around 240,000 plastic fragments, with 90% being nanoplastics. This revelation challenges previous estimates and raises concerns about the potential health risks associated with plastic pollution.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, introduces a new microscopy technique to detect nanoplastics, which are significantly smaller than the previously studied microplastics. Nanoplastics can penetrate human cells and even cross the placenta, posing a greater threat to health. The study analyzed water from three popular US brands, revealing 110,000 to 370,000 tiny plastic particles per liter.

While previous studies focused on larger microplastics, the new technology sheds light on a previously uncharted area of plastic pollution. Nanoplastics, often overlooked due to technological limitations, have been found to carry potential risks to human health, including the introduction of synthetic chemicals into the body.

The study’s lead author, Naixin Qian, emphasized the significance of the findings, stating, “This study provides a powerful tool to address the challenges in analyzing nanoplastics, which holds the promise to bridge the current knowledge gap on plastic pollution at the nano level.” The research reveals the prevalence of nanoplastics in bottled water, prompting concerns about the extent of human exposure.

The International Bottled Water Association responded, stating the study’s methodology requires review and emphasizing the lack of scientific consensus on the health impacts of nanoplastics. However, the study’s co-authors stress the importance of continued research, extending beyond bottled water to tap water and other environmental samples.