“if microcroplastics are enter in our body and we have not digested them so they will leave no adverse effect on our body” there is no adverse effect on the human body,” but some say that microplastics will continue to increase in the future. There is concern that harmful substances such as environmental hormones adsorbed on plastics may cause health hazards.
There are 70 types of endocrine disrupters listed by the Ministry of the Environment. Although the effects of environmental hormones adsorbed on the plastic itself and microplastics on humans have not been clarified, research results have shown that they have an effect in laboratory experiments on human cells.
Women: Increased breast cancer and endometriosis
Breast cancer cells grow due to nonylphenol dissolved from plastic
Male … Reproductive dysfunction
Decrease in sperm count / decrease in sperm concentration
Fetus: Developmental abnormalities / effects on intelligence
Since environmental hormones are closely related to the early stage of development, PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) remaining in the sea (water) is said to have an effect on intelligence.
What are endocrine disrupters?
Environmental hormones are chemical substances that are similar in structure to human hormones. It binds to “receptors,” which are organs that receive hormone signals, as if they were hormones. It disturbs the balance of hormones and interferes with the function of maintaining the health of the body, and has a serious effect on reproductive function, thyroid function, cranial nerves, etc. It is also called an “endocrine disruptor” because it acts on the endocrine system.
Microplastics detected in tap water in 13 countries around the world
According to a survey conducted by research groups such as the University of Minnesota and the State University of New York, it was announced that tap water from 13 countries around the world, as well as salt from Europe, the United States and Asia, and beer from the United States contain minute microplastics. it was done. In particular, the detection rate of tap water is as high as 81%, and most of it is thought to be derived from fibrous textile products. Although tap water in Japan is not covered by the survey, it warns that “the spread of tap water pollution, which is inevitable in daily life, is a major concern around the world.”
Think about measures for drinking water
From around the latter half of 2018, as the news related to microplastics in Japan increased, there was a movement to worry about the contamination of tap water with microplastics. Looking back on the risks of tap water in recent years, in 2011 there was growing concern about radioactive materials from the nuclear accident. In any case, it is the result of human environmental destruction affecting the raw water of drinking water.
Correct knowledge of raw water
To address these concerns about drinking water, we must first have a correct understanding of “raw water.”
Drinking water that is considered to be drinkable in Japan can be broadly classified into “tap water,” “mineral water,” and “well water.” (The detailed definition of mineral water is omitted here and is treated as drinking water that is bottled and sold.)
In both “tap water” and “mineral water,” raw water is natural water such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater. In other words, there is no big difference in the risk of environmental destruction whether it is tap water or mineral water.
So what should be the criteria for safety?
Drinking water safety
It is the “raw water”, “water purification method”, and “supply route” that have an impact on safety.
Most of the water sold as “natural water” is natural water that takes advantage of the characteristics of the water source, and the standard for water purification is the “Food Sanitation Law.” It is delivered in a plastic bottle.
On the other hand, there is a type of “RO water” in home delivery (water server). This is considered to be the safest because it produces pure water (pure water) using a water purification filter called a reverse osmosis membrane.
Water purifier as a standard for tap water and measures for drinking water
The standard for water purification treatment of tap water is the “Water Supply Law” established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. It is said that the standards for water purification are relatively high in the world. On the other hand, the water from the waterworks reaches the faucet via water pipes and indoor pipes. Chlorine is added to the purified water as a measure against dirt inside the water pipe. As a measure against such hygiene and chlorine odor, it is common to install a water purifier on the faucet, and the penetration rate is about 40% of all households.