Sustainable Energy

WHO to undertake review on dangers of plastic in drinking water

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The World Health Organization (WHO) will launch a review relating to the potential dangers of plastic in drinking water.

The review, the BBC reported Thursday, will look into research on both the impact and spread of microplastics.

The news comes in the wake of a report by Orb Media that discovered the presence of plastic particles in bottled water.

"When we think about the composition of the plastic, whether there might be toxins in it, to what extent they might carry harmful constituents, what actually the particles might do in the body — there's just not the research there to tell us," the WHO's Bruce Gordon told BBC News.

"We normally have a 'safe' limit but to have a safe limit, to define that, we need to understand if these things are dangerous, and if they occur in water at concentrations that are dangerous."

More broadly, the issue of plastic waste is an increasingly serious one. Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste per year, according to the European Commission. But less than 30 percent of this is collected for recycling.