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Micro plastic pollution found in Gauteng and North West – How to get rid of it.

A new study has found micro plastic pollution in the drinking water of Gauteng and some parts of North West. The health impact of these microplastics is yet to be determined.

Researchers at North-West University were the first to carry out an assessment of micro plastic pollution levels in freshwater as opposed to the marine environment.

Micro plastic particles were found in 43 river sites along the Vaal, Mooi and Wasgoedspruit Rivers in Gauteng and the North West province. These particles were not only found in rivers, but also in Johannesburg and Tshwane’s drinking water. Potchefstroom’s groundwater was tested from four boreholes and all contained quantities of micro plastic particles.

So how do these particles end up in our water? According to the research of Professor Henk Bouwman from North-West University, there are two main sources. Many cosmetic products like exfoliants and toothpaste contain microbeads that’s washed away and recycled into our freshwater system. Other sources are countless bits of degraded, broken off plastic from bigger plastic objects.

What are the health risks? Currently, no consensus exists of the health impacts of consuming microplastics as the science behind it is still in its beginning phase. However, Professor Henk Bouwman mentions being concerned over toxic chemicals that could potentially cling to or be absorbed by plastic particles and so enter our bodies.

In short, ingesting micro plastic particles does not substantiate a healthy lifestyle. We would like you to think inside the drop and consider your water quality and the effect it could have on your health.

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