Home » If boiled, tap water, thanks to limestone, disperses up to 80% of plastics

If boiled, tap water, thanks to limestone, disperses up to 80% of plastics

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If boiled, tap water, thanks to limestone, disperses up to 80% of plastics

According to a recent study, published in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology, if tap water were boiled, thanks to the limestone, it would disperse up to 80% of the microplastics it contains. Although many strategies have been developed over the years to reduce these particles which can be found anywhere from the air, to the soil, to the environment and even in our bodies, no method so far has proven effective. The team of researchers from Guangzhou Medical University and Jinan University, China, examined the effects of boiling on three components that have been identified in drinking water; polyester, polyethylene and polypropylene. The result was surprising: after bringing the samples to the boil for five minutes and allowing them to cool, the researchers measured the plastic content and found that it had decreased. Boiled water, rich in minerals, forms a substance commonly known as limestone or calcium carbonate (CaCO3) which causes encrustations or crystalline structures, which encapsulate the plastic particles, rendering them harmless. If any encrustations remain afloat they can then be removed through a simple filter. The experiment demonstrated that, in the hardest waters, those that contain the most mineral salts of calcium and magnesium, in a sample containing 300 milligrams of CaCO3 per liter of water, up to 80% of the microplastics. However, it proved to be less effective in water samples with softer PH, with less than 60 milligrams of CaCO3 per liter, only 25% of plastics were removed. “This simple boiling strategy can decontaminate nano- and microplastics from domestic tap water and has the potential to harmlessly alleviate its consumption,” the researchers concluded in their study. Although studies to understand the effects that ingesting plastic fragments can have on human health are still in the experimental phase, it is believed that if taken in massive quantities, they can alter the intestinal microbiome. However, the team, notes Giovanni D’Agata, president of the “Rights Office”, wanted to clarify that only simple polymers not added with “plasticizers” were examined, such as BPA and PFAS, the so-called permanent chemical substances widely used by sectors, clothing and food packaging.

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