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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  289 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world

I started reading the Orb piece last night and stopped at this:

    Cars and trucks emit more than 20 grams of tire dust for every 100 kilometers they drive.

Goodyear has a 24,000 mile warranty. That's 38,600 kilometers. That's 7.7 kg of tire dust out of four tires - and tires weigh about 25-30kg each.

7 percent reduction in tire weight over the life of the tire? ....mmmmmmmaybe. But I mean...

water runs through plastic fucking pipe. Of course it's in the drinking water. Are we really surprised by this?

am_Unition  ·  289 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Every boy scout that's ever potato gun'd knows his way around PVC, but not all plastics are created equal. Polyethylene is hella common, but I doubt that it's solely an issue of composition. For example, the toxicity of airborne nanoparticles to the lungs is largely a function of surface area to volume ratios (across all materials). And just because it comes into contact with plastic pipes doesn't mean we're guaranteed to have the water significantly leeching anything from them. It's a complicated thing.

Like the article says, what concerns me most is the apparent lack of basic research on the effects of directly ingesting it ourselves, the lack of characterizing sources, what it can transport, blah blah blah. We know it's already in our food supply, but the idea that it hasn't seriously been considered for testing and regulation in our water is kinda not ideal. No, it ain't lead. Yes, I'm annoyingly anti-complacency. And who would have guessed, the guy doing research wants more research, right? I totally get that there are some undertones of paranoia, but whatevs. There are bigger problems in the world right now, but we probably shouldn't completely shelve this one.

kleinbl00  ·  289 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And that's another one of my issues:

    Mahon said there were two principal concerns: very small plastic particles and the chemicals or pathogens that microplastics can harbour. “If the fibres are there, it is possible that the nanoparticles are there too that we can’t measure,” she said. “Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying.”

Right. That would be mesothelioma on a worldwide scale. Since we're not seeing that, despite the widespread adoption of thermoplastics over the past 70 years...

ButterflyEffect  ·  289 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wouldn't say surprised, but I think it's one of those things that people just don't think about. It looks relatively easy to avoid, too, since most of this plastic is large enough to filter with a Brita faucet system.