Micro-plastics; Forging A New PATH

“Microplastics, in turn, can break down into even smaller pieces called nano-plastics, which are less than 1 mm in size. Unable to be seen with the naked eye, these are small enough to enter the body’s cells and tissues.” Vickie Contie, NIH

In January a new discovery was announced by the NIH, nano-plastics are in the human body and entering our cells undetected by regular screening. The particles are so small the scientists need a specialized way to detect the particles that are floating in the plastic bottles we drink from daily. This is a serious health concern. We know that plastics in our environment can take hundreds of years to decompose but what kind of damage can they cause to our bodies over time if we continuously consume water from plastic bottles such as Poland Spring?

Plastic pollution is in our Boston neighborhoods seeping into our water.

The NIH FOUND: “The water contained particles of all seven types of plastic. The most common was polyamide, a type of nylon that’s often used to help filter and purify water. An abundance of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was also detected. This might be expected, since PET is used to make bottles for water, soda, and many other drinks and foods. Other identified plastics included polyvinyl chloride, polymethyl methacrylate, and polystyrene, which is also used in water purification. The method identified millions of additional particles that did not match the seven categories of plastic. It’s not yet clear if these tiny particles are nano-plastics or other substances.”

This research from NIH is alarming and here at Iron & Grit we have decided to switch to metal bottles that are reusable. You will see the new PATH bottles in our fridge over the next week. They are more costly, but you can recycle the bottle and use it over and over. This not only saves plastic from littering our environment, but it is a healthier for you.

You can also bring in your own metal bottles to refill from our filtered water station.

Micro-plastics are considered a world-wide health crisis by the UN, NIH, and health experts across the globe. The research has found that micro-plastic particles are found in every ecosystem on earth— “ – from the remote Arctic and Antarctic, to the highest peaks and the deepest ocean trenches. Micro-plastics are also found, now, within the human body. And no one yet knows exactly how much damage that can do.” –UN

Here are some facts to know put out by National Geographic:

  • Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 20 years.
  • Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015.
  • Production is expected to double by 2050.
  • Every year, about eight million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.
  • Plastics often contain additives making them stronger, more flexible, and durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products if they become litter, with some estimates ranging to at least 400 years to break down.

Hydration is important but how we get our water source is just as important. This effort to stop using plastic bottles and find new ways to help you live healthier is part of our ongoing Live B.I.G. 365 program.

Together every little bit we all do makes a huge difference!