A simple tip helps reduce microplastics in tap water

A simple tip helps reduce microplastics in tap water

Are you trying as best you can to fight against microplastics on a daily basis? Know that a simple trick allows you to eliminate them… in tap water!

Microplastics – these small particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter – are part of our daily lives: they are in our clothes, our food and even in the air. To try to stem this scourge, scientists around the world are actively working on different processes. The latest one? Boil… tap water!

90% of floating particles have been eliminated

For this study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, researchers led by Zhanjun Li and Eddy Zeng, collected samples of hard tap water from Guangzhou, China.

Water rich in minerals and in particular in calcium and magnesium salts, which has the particularity, when heated, of forming calcium carbonate – in other words, limestone.

In this water, the research group added different quantities of nano and microplastics. These samples were then boiled for five minutes.

Result? Researchers found that 5 minutes of boiling hard water containing 300 milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter removed 90% of floating particles.

More precisely, it is the white foam that remained on the surface of the water (the famous limestone) which seems to have “locked in” the microplastics.

Even for softer water (60 milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter), boiling eliminated around 25% of nanoplastics and microplastics.

This simple strategy can decontaminate nano- and microplastics from household tap water and has the potential to safely reduce human intake of nano- and microplastics through water consumption“, assure the authors.

Too obvious a solution?

For Dr Cocaul, interviewed on this subject, this solution seems a little too simple.

I’m always skeptical about these types of tips which seem too simple. We must check who is behind the study, if there is a conflict of interest and above all wait for other studies to confirm this first trial.“, he says.

Avoiding microplastics on a daily basis: instructions for use

While waiting to learn more about these microplastics and the different ways to remedy them, a few good habits allow you to limit them on a daily basis:

  • When shopping, use fabric bags instead of accepting biosourced or compostable plastic bags;
  • Wear clothes made of cotton, linen and other natural materials;
  • Opt for bulk as much as possible;
  • At the office, take a water bottle to hydrate (rather than using plastic glasses);
  • Favor reusable crockery and cutlery.