Plastic Pipes Leach Microplastics Into Drinking Water

A new report indicates that as plastic pipe is exposed to chlorinated water over time it breaks down, peeling off layers inside the pipe, and releasing micro plastics into your drinking water.

Plastic pipes leach microplastics into drinking water

Indications are that plastic pipe, ie: plumbing, in homes is a major source of micro and nano plastics in drinking water. As pipes break down they are shown to release micro and nano plastics into drinking water. This, in turn, means that people are drinking these plastic particles and contaminating their body.

The health effects of this are currently unknown but several impacts are suspected.¬†Suspected health impacts include altering the balance of the colon’s microbiome, impacting the colon’s protective mucus layer, and impairing immune function.

“The report also looks at issues such as chemical leaching in addition to the shedding of micro- and nano-particles from common plastic pipe materials like PVC (polyvinyl chloride), PE (polyethylene), PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), and CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride).”

Pex pipe has long been known to leach a variety of volatile organic compounds during its first months or years of use. But this information about all types of plastic pipe breaking down further is very new. And not yet fully understood. One theory is that plastic pipes break down as they are exposed to chlorinated water. Inspection has shown the inside of the pipes peeling and releasing micro plastics into drinking water.

I have always been an advocate of copper pipes. While they cost more than plastic pipe, the do not leach. Low ph water can erode the plastic but that can be corrected. And copper has natural anti bacterial and anti viral properties.

Plastic Pipes Leach Microplastics Into Drinking Water

If it’s true that plastic pipes leach micro plastics and even nano plastics into your drinking water, then the only way to resolve that issue is with the use of reverse osmosis at the kitchen sink. A whole house water filter can protect you from the many carcinogens in public water supplies. But if your home has plastic pipe then you’ll need to resolve that at the kitchen sink.

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
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