Microplastics are basically tiny particles of plastic, measuring less than 5 millimeters in size, and have become a growing health concern all around the world. Plastic, particularly either intentionally manufactured or formed through the degradation of large plastic items (especially water bottles), is pervasive in our environment and also has the potential to pose serious health threats.
In this Frizzlife blog, we will be exploring those health risks in detail, along with the best solution that you can take to remove them from the water.
Also, read our blog posts Dangers of Drinking Polluted Water & What You Should Do
Sources of Microplastics
Before heading towards the dangers of microplastics, it will be good if you understand the sources. So that you can take care of these sources to prevent your water from being polluted with microplastics.
Primary microplastics are intentionally manufactured small plastic particles used in various products such as cosmetics, cleaning agents, and personal care items. Now, the fact is, after using, we often release these products directly into our environment through wastewater treatment plants, sewage systems, or landfills.
Do you know? Microplastics can also created through the breakdown of larger plastic like water bottles, plastic bags, or other packaging materials made up of plastic.
Numerous research state that all these plastic items can break down into small pieces due to exposure to wind, rain, and sunlight, and then end up entering the natural water sources that we are utilizing for drinking, cooking, and washing purposes.
Dangers of Microplastics in Water
Some of the dangers of Microplastics in drinking water are as follows:
1. Effects on the Digestive System:
Research states that microplastics can cause inflammation, stress, anxiety, and damage to the gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to digestive diseases and disturb the gut microbiome.
2. Effect on Hormone Balance:
Some types of microplastics have chemicals called endocrine disrupters that can upset the body’s hormonal balance. This can lead to reproductive issues, development issues, and many other hormonal diseases.
3. Link with Respiratory System:
Inhalation of airborne microplastics has been linked to a human respiratory system, like asthma, inflammation, and reduced lung functions. These particles can enter the human respiratory system through the polluted air or break down from the larger plastic items.
4. Potential Effect on the Immune System:
Several studies suggest that the immune system may be affected by microplastic exposure. According to studies, Microplastics have been linked to inflammatory and immunological reactions in the human body.
People who have this immunological response may have immune system impairment and persistent inflammation, which increases their vulnerability to infections and other illnesses.
It is essential to comprehend how microplastics may affect the immune system in order to safeguard general health and well-being.
Understating these health dangers is essential in developing strategies to reduce the impact of microplastics on human well-being. By resolving the resources of microplastics and putting measures to reduce exposure.
What are the solutions to avoid Microplastics:
Below, I have discussed some that you can adopt in order to microplastics.
1. Avoid Bottled Water:
Microplastics are frequently consumed by drinking bottled water. According to a study, Americans who consume only bottled water can have an annual intake of 90,000 plastic particles as opposed to 4000 plastic particles from tap water.
However, if you have any doubts regarding the quality of your tap water, then using filtered water can be good option to go with.
2. Avoid Single Use plastics:
Another way to reduce the exposure to microplastics is “Avoid single-use plastics”. Reducing the use of single-use plastics like straws, bags, and disposable utensils can greatly reduce the quantity of plastic waste generated in the environment.
3. Use Water Filter:
This is something that you will find convenient. By installing a water filter, especially reverse osmosis, can efficiently eliminate microplastics from the water. Apart from this, RO filters will also eliminate other kinds of toxic environments from the water.
4. Choose Natural Fibers:
Apart from water filters, another way to reduce exposure to microplastics is to choose natural fibers. Choosing natural fibers over synthetic fibers can help reduce the quantity of microplastics released into the environment.
5. Dispose of Plastic Waste:
Making sure that plastic waste is disposed of properly can help reduce the quantity of microplastics in the environment. Moreover, recycling and composting are effective ways to reduce the exposure to microplastics.
6. Avoid heating food in plastic:
Research indicates that when food or water in plastic is heated, more microparticles are released. Therefore, refrain from doing dishes with plastic or microwaving meals in plastic. Similarly, using plastic cooking implements, such as plastic spoons, and placing hot meals in plastic dishes may also be problematic.
Metal and glass are excellent substitutes; just be careful not to microwave metal objects. Great substitutes for plastic tools for cooking are wood or metal types.
7. Avoid Certain Kinds of Seafood:
Sadly, certain kinds of seafood have been polluted with microplastics since the ocean floor. Particularly to be avoided are small, entire fish and bivalves, such as clams, oysters, muscles, and scallops. To lessen your exposure, eat fewer of these kinds of seafood.
So these are some of the solutions that you can adopt in order to prevent microplastics in the water.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are microplastics?
These are basically small particles of plastic that can be present in various including microfibers, microbeads, and fragments.
How do they can affect human health?
They can get their way into our bodies through skin contact, inhalation, and many more. After this, they can cause inflammation, oxidative stress, etc.
Are there any regulations in place to address microplastic pollution?
A: Some countries have banned the use of microbeads in personal care products, and there are ongoing efforts to regulate microplastic pollution. However, more comprehensive measures are needed to tackle this issue globally.
The presence of microplastics in the water is becoming a global concern, and the fact is that they can pose serious health risks that we have discussed above in detail. Along with the dangers, we have also discussed the solutions to efficiently deal with microplastics in water.