Plastic waste pollutes the earth, even in its smallest Form. The world health organization has evaluated studies on the micro plastic in the water and still a lot of questions.
The Occurrence of micro-plastic in drinking water and its possible health effects have to be investigated to the satisfaction of the world health organization (WHO) much more accurate. This applies to the distribution of these particles as well as their risks, informed by the WHO on Wednesday in Geneva.
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"Micro-plastic is everywhere in the environment, even in the Wasserkreislauf"
"Based on the limited information available, micro-plastic in the drinking water at the current level seems to be no health risk darzustellen", the WHO expert Maria Neira says. Other impurities of the water are from today’s point of view, much more important, says WHO expert Bruce Gordon.
“The term ‘micro-plastic’ are very summarized different types of Particles, the States on the one hand differ in type of polymer, but also in terms of their ingredients (dyes, plasticizers, and so on), shapes, sizes, and aging,” explains the biologist Rita Triebskorn from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.
The least information is known about particles smaller than 1 micron are. For these detection methods are not yet established for sure. “However, it is assumed that such particles, similar to how ‘natural’ particles of the same size, in cells recorded,” says Triebskorn.
It was, in any case, the expanding knowledge base and to find a way of stopping the growth of the global plastic waste mountain. "Micro-plastic is everywhere in the environment, even in the Wasserkreislauf", it is stated in the WHO Report.
How do the micro-plastic in the drinking water originates, exactly, is often unclear. Important sources of rain – or melting water and wastewater. Overall, the available studies are too fragmentary to determine the extent of these flows in more detail or the sources to capture even more accurately. "In addition, contamination can also happen in other processes such as the treatment, distribution and bottling."
Plastic amount will have tripled by 2050
In the year 2017, the world around 348 million tonnes of plastic attached to be, without taking into account the production of fibers. This amount will double due to population growth, consumption and disposable behavior up to 2025 and by 2050, probably triple, estimates the WHO. The market was huge. In Europe alone, there are 60,000 companies started with 1.5 million employees and a turnover of 355 billion euros, of plastic.
With a professional cleaning 90 percent of the micro-plastics could be removed from the wastewater. The same is true for the treatment of drinking water, the WHO. The Problem is that a large part of the world’s population get up to date in the enjoyment of an adequate water and wastewater treatment.
More research is urgently needed
The call for more research, in particular, in the case of the possible effect of micro-plastic about 150 micro-meters, various researchers share. The research field of "Mikroplastik" was still very young, says biologist Rita Triebskorn of the University of Tübingen. Therefore, there is so far only results for selected particle types.
Also the Environmental medicine Hanns Moshammer, of the Medical University of Vienna, is convinced that more research is needed. "Healthy skin or mucous membrane is, in reality, a quite effective barrier against larger particles." Research is necessary but for the Barrier of diseased skin or mucous membrane – for example after injury or during inflammation.
In tap water, significantly less micro-plastic in bottled water
In German tap water, significantly less micro-plastic has been discovered in studies as in mineral water, said Martin Wagner, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. It was assumed that sewage treatment plants remove the majority of the plastic particles. "The Problem with this is, however, that the micro plastic is then in the sludge and in the environment, when sewage sludge is used for fertilization in agriculture."
About the health impact of micro-plastic one can make no General statements. "Even if there are a few insights on that, we can assume that larger plastic particles excreted back quickly werden", Wagner says. With regards to micro-plastic, so the honest answer: " was;We don’t know it." Therefore, the scientist considers that it is premature to make General statements about the health risks of micro plastic. "This is something we need to explore.“
"We are not able to estimate the real quantities at the Moment, and therefore also not a possible risk,“ confirms Peter Fischer from the Leibniz-Institute for polymer research Dresden.
Martin Wagner, however, thought that we absorb very little micro-plastic over tap water, if you compare it with other potential sources – such as other food, and air. "What we do know is that micro-plastic is everywhere. What we do not know exactly is, what are the most important sources for people sind", the biologist explains.
Per week we take five grams of micro-plastic
Recently, a team of researchers under the leadership of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI) had reported in Bremerhaven, that micro-plastic particles trickle in the snow from the air on the earth’s surface, even in the remote Arctic. The tiny particles are transported in the atmosphere and can be over long distances and distributed.
People take according to Australian researchers daily micro-plastic to through food, drinking water, or simply by Breathing. Up to five grams of the tiny particles come in per week in the body – depending on the circumstances of life. For comparison: A credit card weighs approximately five grams. The study is based on data on micro – plastic particles smaller than five millimetres – in the breathing air, drinking water, salt, beer and shellfish.
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