A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) has just been released concerning a new health scare that's about to hit the block. For years environmentalists have been trying to convince people to switch to the more sustainable Tap Water instead of buying Bottled Water.

Despite the numerous studies showing people that bottled water often requires the input of more water than the final product, and evidence of more minerals found in the good old water from your tap, people are still stubbornly clinging on to their bottles of Evian and Volvic.

It seems environmental issues rarely do the trick when it comes to getting people to change their behaviors- but these new findings might just be the tipping point.

Microplastics in the ocean

It has been found that over 90 percent of bottled water contains microplastics. These are small pieces of plastic (less than 5 mm in diameter), that have recently been grabbing headlines due to their discovery in many marine environments.

One of the main issues associated with plastics are their incredibly slow break-down rate. These synthetically made products, being synthetic, don't tend to have a biological equivalent capable of breaking them down (except some rare strains of bacteria). Thus instead of decomposing into their original polymers they just get broken down into smaller and smaller pieces.

These tiny pieces have been found across the ocean, and are increasingly being accidentally ingested by marine animals, with detrimental effects.

According to a study by Science, fish who have ingested these substances are shown to have stunted growth and a higher mortality rate.

Furthermore, it was discovered their hatching rate was also significantly reduced. Though not all the reasons for these consequences is known, there is some connection to the chemical property of plastics being able to adsorb certain toxic materials onto their surface, in effect concentrating them. These toxins, then consumed by marine life will certainly be responsible for some of these effects.

Microplastics spread their reach

The study performed by researchers at the University of New York at Fredonia found that the most common plastic found in the water bottles analyzed was polypropylene. This also happens to be the plastic used to make bottle caps. Though some of these microplastics might find their origin in the industry itself it is likely that many of them are actually coming from airborne sources.

With clothing and other materials increasingly being made of polymers much of this waste in making it into the atmosphere where it then rains down into various sources. It was found that a startling 10,000 of these little plastics could be found in just one liter of bottled water, with only 17 out of the 259 bottles tested being entirely free of plastic. Though little is known about the effects of these microplastics on humans, one thing is clear, if it's anything like the effects on fish it might be time to consider switching to tap water.