World Health Organization raising red flag on plastics in drinking water

Plastic in water warning

The World Health Organization is raising a red flag on plastics in drinking water.

They're too small to see, but health experts say tiny pieces of microplastics are being found in tap water.

A new U.N. report says even more of the miniscule particles are showing up in bottled water, possibly from the bottling process or packaging such as plastic caps.

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Reuters reported that the World Health Organization found current levels of microplastics pose a low health risk. "But we also believe that a lot more research needs to be done to be more conclusive about certain areas," said, Bruce Gordon, WHO Environmental Coordinator.

Microplastics are created when man-made plastics break down into pieces smaller than about 1/5 of an inch.



"The main message is that the vast majority of microplastic would pass harmlessly through the body," Gordon said.

Experts say up to 90% of microplastics are usually eliminated through water filtration treatments, according to the Reuters report.

While microplastics don't appear to be a health worry for now, according to Reuters' report, environmental leaders are calling for an urgent reduction in plastic pollution to reduce people's exposure to potentially harmful substances.

The World Health Organization will continue to monitor levels of microplastics in water but say the higher priority is fighting proven risks like bacteria that cause typhoid and cholera.

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