(ORDO NEWS) — Reusable bottles contaminate water with hundreds of potentially toxic substances from their walls, and after a dishwasher – thousands.
Recently, plastic bottles and bottles have become the subject of close interest of scientists: studies show that, despite the inertness of the material, microplastic particles enter the water, and from it into the body of the drinker.
New such work is carried out using reusable bottles, especially popular with conservationists and sports enthusiasts. They also turned out to be far from harmless, especially after the dishwasher.
For their work, Selina Tisler and Jan Christensen from the University of Copenhagen collected both new and used bottles, filling them with ordinary clean tap water and leaving them overnight.
The composition of the water was then carefully studied using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. The experiment was carried out both with unwashed bottles and after washing by hand and in the dishwasher.
In total, more than 400 compounds were identified in the water, which got into it from the material of the plastic bottle itself, as well as more than 3,500 substances washed away by washing powder in the dishwasher.
The vast majority of these molecules have not yet been studied, and for 70 percent of those studied, toxicity has not been established.
“We were overwhelmed by the large number of chemicals found in the water after 24 hours in the bottle,” says Jan Christensen.
“Hundreds of compounds, including those never before found in plastic, as well as those that can be harmful to health. And after the wash cycle, there are thousands of compounds.”
Among these molecules are photoinitiators – substances that, when exposed to radiation, become extremely active and can cause serious damage to body cells – and other dangerous molecules, including diethyltoluamide, an insect repellant.
As scientists note, the vast majority of these compounds are not part of the materials from which the bottles are made, but are formed during their transformations and degradation during use, storage and washing.
For example, the same diethyltoluamide can come from softeners, thanks to which bottles can be squeezed, pouring water faster.
“We closely monitor the absence of contamination in drinking water,” Christensen says. “But when we pour this water into a container, we immediately add thousands of new compounds to it. And although we cannot say for sure how these substances affect our health, I personally will use only glass bottles in the future.”
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