Nano- and microplastics (NMPs) are an emerging contaminant of interest in drinking water treatment. In my search to better understand how households could address NMPs, I found it is more of a nuanced topic than I originally suspected. I put my thoughts to paper with this Memo last month. Would love to hear your thoughts on NMPs in drinking water!
Hi Jamie, thanks for sharing your research! This is an interesting topic. Historically, we haven’t been able to determine harm at the time we know of the existence of certain substances and later we (society) pay the price in terms of having to change practices, processes, and treat those who have been hurt. With NMPs, we have an opportunity to play it safe. I would be interested in taking that approach given the existing need for better and more efficient water filtration and potential to harvest NMPs into new production streams (maybe one day?).
Leah, I agree! Rather than do nothing and learn later that NMPs are harmful to human health, we can try to remove them from our drinking water now. I do suspect it will take more research into the human health outcomes for governments to enforce regulations at water treatment centers. In the meantime, we can try to choose household water treatment that removes NMPs.
This was a really good read. I found myself wondering if heating or boiling the water could potentially help reduce the presence of these NMPs. I also think that if more awareness is created, there could be investments into more sustainable packaging for drinking water, although that might be a stretch. Thanks for sharing your work.