This year’s W.H.O. wish for World Health Day is focused on the connection between the planet’s health and human health. Evidence shows that pollution increases the risk of preventable diseases like cancer, asthma, and heart disease. We think of pollution in terms of dirty air and undrinkable water.
However, one of the most toxic forms of pollution is drinking ‘clean water’ from plastic bottles.
Almost 80% of all plastics humans produce end up in landfills or in nature, including our oceans, which strangles the natural habitat for millions of sea creatures. Every year, eight million metric tons of plastics enter our oceans, and an accumulated 150 million metric tons continue to circulate in our waters.
If you’re not concerned about plastics in the oceans, you should be. On March 23, 2022, the scientific journal Environment International published data announcing for the first time that they have discovered and quantified plastic particle pollution in human blood. Yes, plastic micro-particles are now inside your body.
Furthermore, microplastics can deform cell membranes and affect their function. This means microplastics can damage your very cells.
The study did not speculate on long-term effects, and while there is an absence of solid scientific data, correlational evidence does exist to show that plastics and the chemical pollutants that bind to them are deeply toxic. At the top of the list are cancer risks, reproductive problems, and metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The next time you pick up a plastic bottle of water, consider these facts regarding the 11 most popular bottled water brands:
- 93% contain “microplastic” synthetic polymer particles
- They contain an average of 325 microplastic particles/litre
- Most of the particles are fragments of polypropylene
These results, which also include tests on tap water, beer, and sea salt, suggest you will drink significantly less plastic from a tap than from bottled water.
On this World Health Day, do a favour for yourself and the world.
Stop buying and drinking water in plastic bottles.
ELAINE CHIN, M.D., M.B.A. FOUNDER, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER North American trailblazer in Precision Medicine. Founder of Executive Health Centre, a Medical Wellness and Anti-Aging Clinic. Medical expert on CitylineTV and in Good Housekeeping Magazine’s GH Institute.