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Testing the Waters

by Orb Media

Bottled water is marketed as the very essence of purity. It's the fastest-growing beverage market in the world, valued at US$147 billion. But new research by Orb Media, a nonprofit news organization based in Washington, DC, shows that a single bottle can hold galaxies of microscopic plastic particles. Exclusive tests on more than 250 bottles from 11 leading brands reveal widespread contamination with plastic debris including polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The global average was 325 particles per liter of bottled water. We found plastic in 93 percent of the samples -- so many particles that we needed a special app to count them all.