A lot of people purchase bottled water because they think it's a purer source of water than what comes out of the tap.
The research, which was conducted by researchers at the State University of NY at Fredonia and non-profit journalism organization Orb Media, found an average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water, which is twice the amount of contamination found in tap water, according to another Orb Media investigation.
According to the World Health Organization, the subject is an emerging area of concern.
Three of the brands are on sale in Portugal, including Evian, Nestlé and San Pellegrino. 259 bottles of 11 brands sold in nine countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and the United States were tested by researchers.
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Professor Sherri Mason spearheaded the research, in which each bottle was infused with a dye called "Nile Red" that binds to plastic polymer before being placed under a laminar airflow hood that removes dust and airborne particles.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Friday said the findings of a US-based NGO about microplastics contamination in bottled water in India were not alarming as there was no known health hazards due to it.
Seventeen bottles were found to have no particles at all while many had counts ranging into the hundreds or even thousands, with big differences within brands and even the same pack of bottles.
Particles were divided and classified by size; those above 100 microns (about the size of a grain of salt) were identified as polypropylene (54 percent), nylon (16 percent), polystyrene (11 percent), polyethylene (10 percent), with other compounds making up the rest. Plastic bottled water might not be as clean as we have been thinking this whole time.
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The tested plastic particles are then analysed under a microscope with a crime-scene investigation light shining on the particles allowing them to glow like tiny embers, Orb Media reported.
Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientist Jacqueline Savitz, of campaign group Oceana, said: "We know plastics are building up in marine animals and this means we too are being exposed, some of us every day".
PepsiCo India is among those companies that have contested the study's findings, saying: "Aquafina maintains rigorous quality-control measures, sanitary manufacturing practices, filtration and other food safety mechanisms which yield a reliably safe product for enjoyment anywhere in the world".
The statement added that the science of microplastics and microfibres is in its infancy. Meanwhile, the American Beverage Association is declaring that it still believes bottled water to be safe. Microplastic particles are found across the environment, including soil, air and water.
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A new study has revealed that numerous bottled water brands sold across the globe contain microplastics, which could pose potential health risks.