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FILE - A water bottle. (Dantor / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 via MGN)

93 percent of bottled water contains microplastics, study finds

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By ANDREW DONLEY, ABC 33/40

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBMA) - Researchers tested the waters and found what's in the transparent liquid may not be so clear.

Orb Media's recent study titled "Microplastics Found In Global Bottled Water" reinforces what Dr. Michael Vaughn recommends to his patients.

"I've always advised my patients to use tap water over bottled water," said Vaughn.

Vaughn swore off the product after taking a trip to a local bottling company.

"You're putting water into a newly minted plastic bottle and you just don't know what's in that plastic bottle, or you do know and you wonder how much of it gets into the water," said Vaughn.

"I'm very concerned about that," said Alabama resident Beverly Callaway.

Callaway drives frequently for work and keeps bottled water in the back of her car. Up until recently, she's been drinking them, even after the sun has heated the plastic.

Before ABC 33/40 told her about the new research, she had already heard of other studies linking dangers to heated water bottles.

"I'm switching to tap," said Callaway.

After testing more than 250 bottles from 11 brands of water, Orb Media found that one single bottle can hold thousands of microscopic plastic particles. Essentially, the study showed that 93 percent of the water bottle samples contained microplastics.

Orb Media found the highest level of microplastics in a Nestle Pure Life sample, which had 10,390 particles per liter. The highest number of particles found in Dasani and Aquafina samples was 335 ppl and 4,713 ppl, respectively.

"You're getting microparticles now. What else are you getting that aren't particles that you can't see with the fluorescing?" Vaughn wondered aloud.

According to the study, the U.S. does not have specific rules for microplastics in food and beverages. While there's no evidence that consuming microplastics has an adverse effect on human health, it's a growing area of concern and known environmental pollutant, National Center for Biotechnology Information researchers say.

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