Microplastics in drinking water?
Microplastics in drinking water? The presence of plastics in aquatic environments is a growing concern throughout the EU and many countries around the world, to the point of introducing policies to improve the plastic cycle, as well as taxes. The truth is these plastics degrade to become microplastic particles that not only abound in seas and oceans but also in wastewater and even in drinking water.
Although these particles are an environmental pollutant that is just beginning to be analyzed, reports have already been made that locate masses of microscopic plastic particles in seas and oceans, one of them in the Mediterranean. For this reason, scientists are undertaking the work of studying the adverse effects of microplastics, for human health and for the environment.
Dr. Scott Coffin, from the California State Water Resources Control Board, in the United States will present the world’s first regulatory research on microplastics in drinking water, at the symposium on ‘Emerging Risks of Micro / Nanoplastics: Prospects for diverse sectors’, which aims to highlight the current state of knowledge associated with physical and chemical transformation, hazard characterization, environmental effects, social implications and policy constraints.
“Standardization of methods for analyzing microplastics is urgently needed to reliably compare data from different studies,” says Coffin. “In June 2020, the California regulatory definition of microplastic was adopted, providing regulatory agencies with legislators and researchers a common language for a diverse group of pollutants “, as El Heraldo has published.
On the other hand, Drs. Judy Lee and Marie Enfrin from the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Surrey and Dr. Ludovic Dumée at the Deakin Border Materials Institute, have carried out a research project of nano and microplastics in water and wastewater treatment processes, finding that small pieces of plastic break down even further during treatment processes, reducing the performance of treatment plants and affecting water quality. The study was published in the Journal of Water Research.
This research highlights the current difficulty in detecting the presence of nano and microplastics in treatment systems. To ensure that water quality meets the required safety standards and to reduce threats to our ecosystems, new detection strategies are needed with the aim of limiting the number of nano and microplastics in water and wastewater treatment systems.