Boiling Water: An Effective Method to Remove Microplastics

A groundbreaking study employing a novel method has discovered an average of 240,000 super tiny plastic particles, comprising nanoplastics and microplastics, within bottled packaging. The good news is, there's an easy way to eliminate nanoplastics from water content, making it safer for consumption.

According to Live Science, a study published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters found that boiling water for five minutes can remove up to 90% of microplastic content.

"Drinking boiled water is an ancient tradition in some Asian countries deemed beneficial for human health. Boiling water can eliminate certain chemicals and most biological substances," wrote the researchers on Monday (4/3/2024).

However, it's still unclear whether boiling is effective in removing NMP (Nano/Microplastics) from tap water," the researchers continued.

In the study, experts created samples of tap water containing common minerals and three frequently found microplastic compounds: polystyrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

Additionally, experts produced several water samples by adjusting the concentration of calcium carbonate. It's worth noting that the water used in the research was hard water in America, containing high mineral content.

After boiling the samples in boiling water for five minutes and allowing them to cool, researchers noted a drastic reduction in the amount of microplastics. In harder water, microplastics decreased by almost 90% because calcium carbonate in the water solidified at higher temperatures, trapping plastic particles within.

Effects of Consuming Microplastics

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that to date, studies on the impact of microplastics on human health are limited and not yet conclusive. However, certain types of plastics, such as polystyrene, have been proven to kill human cells, cause intestinal inflammation, and reduce fertility in rats.

Clinical & Scientific Lead at AsaRen, Dr. Meryl "Mimi" Kallman, MD, revealed that microplastics are highly dangerous if ingested by humans. One health risk associated with consuming food or beverages containing microplastics is inflammation.

"Consumption of microplastics from food carries potential health risks. Some studies have shown a correlation [of microplastics] with inflammation and potential toxicity," said Dr. Mimi to CNBC Indonesia.

Based on several studies, Dr. Mimi revealed cases where microplastics were found in human blood. Consequently, the potential for inflammation can arise.

"Microplastics can be found in the blood and cause inflammation," said Dr. Mimi.

However, she noted that the long-term effects of microplastics on human health require further research. This is because the phenomenon of microplastics contained in food or beverages is a new area that is still being studied.

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