Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

United Kingdom

Bottled water can hold 250,000 pieces of nanoplastic, study shows


Library picture

A bottle of water can hold more than 250,000 pieces of plastic, a study has revealed.


Scientists have discovered a new generation of plastic pollution called nanoparticles.

They are created when microplastics in containers break down further.

It had been impossible to find the number of particles smaller than one micron – one seventieth the width of a human hair.

But a new technique developed at Columbia University can now measure the quantity.

The study shows a litre of water holds 240,000 detectable plastic shards.

The figure could be as high as 370,000.

Scientists targeted seven common types of plastic polymer and fired lasers at them to detect the mass and number of nanoparticles in a volume of water.

Naixin Qian, a Columbia graduate student in chemistry who was lead author of the study, said:

“It is not totally unexpected to find so much of this stuff.

“The idea is that the smaller things get, the more of them there are.”

Wei Min, a Columbia biophysicist who invented the technique used to analyse plastic pollution, said:

“It’s not size that matters it’s the numbers.

“The smaller things are, the more easily they can get inside us.”

The real amount of plastic in water, however, may be much higher than this as the team say the seven types of plastic only account for about 10 per cent of all plastics found.

It is possible the true extent of water pollution is millions of nanoparticles per litre, they warn.



Latest Tweets


You May Also Like

United Kingdom

Film director Ridley Scott has recalled the death of actor Oliver Reed while making the Oscar winning blockbuster Gladiator. Scott said hard-drinking Reed “just...


The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

United Kingdom

The Tremeloes. Dave Munden centre Dave Munden the Tremeloes drummer – and often lead singer – with the 60s chart toppers has died. He...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...