First of all, what is microplastic? The general definition of microplastic by researchers is any particle of plastic that is less than 5 millimetres in size, but larger than 1 micrometre. That is the definition of microplastics and they are all around us. They come from fibres that shed from our clothes, carpets, and upholstery, among other things.
For years we have known that microplastics exist in our water and atmosphere but it has been unclear what effect they have on human health. Scientists are taking this matter seriously now since scientists have found tiny plastic particles in living humans, in two places they hadn't before, deep inside the lungs of surgical patients and in blood from anonymous donors.
The discovery shows that particles can travel around the body and may even lodge in organs. Researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory, and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.
What is clear, though, is that there's some kind of link between chronic gut issues and microplastics exists, and it's strong. A study performed by scientists in China showed that there is a link between microplastics and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) . In fact they found that the concentration of microplastic was significantly higher than in healthy people.
47 samples of a variety of humans organs, including lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys was tested by a team from Arizona State University and they found traces of polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene (PE) all common plastic substances. They also found traces of bisphenol A (BPA), a material used in food containers.
This leaves us with the question what actions can we do as individuals to prevent microplastic from entering our spouses, our children and our own bodies. For a starter you can make sure that you use a water filter that removes microplastics from your drinking water here in Malta.
Can a water filter take care of the microplastic?
Well, for starters we know that microplastic is less than 5 millimetres so using a filter that has a pore size on the micrometre (micron) scale will ensure us that it is capable of physically removing most microplastics from water when the pore size is less than 5 microns..
In fact the filter that removes microplastics effectively is an activated carbon block filter which has a particle size of less than 0.18 mm ( or 1.8 microns) which make them ideal for removing microplastics from water.
Reverse Osmosis and some distillation systems are capable of removing microplastic from water but only thanks to the carbon filters that often are a part of these systems. However these methods often need installation and maintenance which you can not do yourself. They also require extra space either on the counter of your kitchen or underneath your kitchen sink.
To find a water filter system based on an activated carbon block that has a pore density of 2 microns or less you can look no further than the TAPP Water EcoPro and its smaller companion the TAPP water EcoPro Compact which offers a filter that you can fit by yourself on your kitchen tap.
TAPP Waters Eco Pro and Eco Pro Compact filters remove microplastics from your water, together with 100s of other contaminators from your drinking water.
They do not require much maintenance, you only need to change the filters on a regular basis.
The filters have been independently tested and TAPP water also offers a guarantee that allows you to try TAPP Water for 45 days in your own home.
TAPP waters mission in Malta is to reduce the use of plastic bottles and we are happy for every new TAPP Hero who joins us!