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Scientists find surprisingly simple method for removing microplastics from drinking water

Published Mar 6th, 2024 7:02PM EST
filling glass at faucet
Image: Brian Jackson / Adobe

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Microplastics are everywhere. In fact, we even saw major bottled water brands reporting microplastic contamination back in 2018, which means they’re likely also in our everyday drinking water. Thankfully, scientists say there is an easy way to remove most of the microplastics from your drinking water.

The surprising answer to how to remove microplastics from your drinking water is to boil the liquid and then run it through a filter. Researchers from the Guangzhou Medical University and Jinan University in China ran multiple tests on both soft and hard tap waters.

They found that whenever they boiled water, they were able to remove up to 90 percent of the microplastics from the drinking water. The researchers detailed their findings in a new paper published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

microplastics in ocean currentImage source: dottedyeti / Adobe

The discovery that microplastics are contaminating even our drinking water is not surprising, given how invasive they can be. The researchers say that they saw more removal of the microplastics and nanoplastics in harder tap waters (which have more minerals), as the microplastics were trapped in the crusty-like chalky substance that forms when you boil water in a kettle or pot.

If you’re wondering how you would go about filtering your own water at home, the researchers say that just using something as simple as a stainless steel mesh used to strain tea would be more than enough to filter out most of the lime-encrusted plastic pieces that might be left behind after boiling your drinking water.

Past studies have tried to understand the widespread contamination of microplastics in our drinking water. There might even be plastics inside of you right now. While it’s unfortunate to note, it is nice that researchers were able to come up with a simple way to remove microplastics from drinking water. Not only that, but it’s a method that anyone can take advantage of in their home kitchen without purchasing any expensive equipment.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.