Study reveals nearly a quarter million nanoplastic particles in water bottles

Wattle bottle manufacturers are arguing that the study lacks consensus and simply scares consumers.

Scientists have discovered that the average liter of bottled water contains nearly a quarter million invisible nanoplastic particles. 

Researchers at Columbia and Rutgers universities used a microscope with dual lasers to make the discovery. 


The big picture: The study analyzed samples from three common bottled water brands and found nanoplastic particle levels ranging from 110,000 to 400,000 per liter, with an average of around 240,000 particles.

  • Nanoplastics are particles smaller than a micron – one millionth of a meter – in size, much smaller than previously studied microplastics.
  • It is still unclear whether these nanoplastic particles are harmful to health, and further research is needed to determine their potential dangers and effects on cells.
  • The plastic seems to be originating from the bottle itself and the reverse osmosis membrane filter used to remove contaminants.

What they’re saying: The International Bottled Water Association pushed back on the study. 

  • “There currently is both a lack of standardized (measuring) methods and no scientific consensus on the potential health impacts of nano- and microplastic particles,” the association said in a statement. “Therefore, media reports about these particles in drinking water do nothing more than unnecessarily scare consumers.”
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