Billions are drinking water contaminated with plastic — and US has it the worst, study finds

In the United States, plastic fibers were found in water samples collected from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, Congressional buildings and Trump Tower in New York.

The countries with the next highest rates of contamination were India and Lebanon, while European countries, and specifically the United Kingdom, France and Germany, tended to have the lowest rates, according to the International Business Times.

Out of every 500ml sample of water from the United States, researchers detected 4.8 plastic fibers — a dramatic increase over the 1.9 plastic fibers found in European water samples.

Other countries with water samples in the study included Uganda (with 81 percent of samples contaminated), Ecuador (75 percent) and Indonesia (76 percent).

These findings concerned Sherri Mason, a microplastic expert from State University of New York, who help oversee the Orb Media study.

The most troubling part of the findings, Mason said, is that we aren’t exactly sure what damage the microplastics can inflict, but we likely have reason to worry.

“We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it’s having on wildlife, to be concerned,” Mason said. “If it’s impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that it’s not going to somehow impact us?”

Learn more at the Sacramento Bee

Chris Alexakiswater, environment