Plastic is made from oil, plastic does not decay or biodegrade like an apple core (which you can actual eat) or leaf. Plastic breaks apart into a smaller piece, and then another smaller piece, and smaller, and smaller. How small is small?
One strand of human hair is around 80 microns wide. A micron is a unit of length in the International System of Units, which is one millionth of a meter. Nano is equivalent to one thousandth of a micrometer, one millionth of a millimeter or one billionth of a meter.
Researchers from Rutgers and Columbia Universities provided results from tests done with lasers called Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) microscopy. Some 240,000 plastic particles were detected in a liter bottle of water. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
After I spoke with doctors in the medical field, I was told about the chemical makeup of different plastic and the known toxins within, that have shown to be related to cancer. Nanoplastic particles, when inside the human body, can be considered more dangerous than microplastics. According to Dr. Wei Min, a professor of chemistry at Columbia and co-author of the study said, “the smaller it goes, the easier for it to be misidentified as the natural component of the cell.”
With the detected plastic in a bottle of water, 90 percent was nanoplastic, and 10 percent was micro, we can in theory say that some of this plastic is coming from the manufacturing of the plastic bottle and also the plastic parts on water filters that are used. Reverse Osmosis systems also have plastic parts, even Water Distillers which I have recommended for over 30 years had plastic parts. The water distiller I used today has the plastic nozzle (the only plastic part in contact with the water I make) lined with glass. Remember from my previous Going True Green blogs – Only 3 things Do Not put carcinogens into our food and drink: Glass, Porcelain, and Waxpaper.
Now while I still recommend a Water Distiller and reusable protected glass or steel containers, some early testing shows less nanoplastic in tap water, than bottled. Obviously, many different pros and cons have to be evaluated.
The last important factor to acknowledge is that while the media screams about predictions on warming, the plastic pollution in our oceans has shown that this is a Real Issue manifesting damage to our Ocean's Prochlorococcus organisms. Prochlorococcus make up our invisible green forest in our oceans. These microscopic marine cyanobacteria are probably the most abundant organism on Earth. For millions of years they have made our oxygen. Plastic is killing them and they are our main source of oxygen.
Everything is connected.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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