Recent research suggests there might be cause for concern. Chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles containing phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap, there are no legal limits in bottled water; the bottled-water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.
Polystyrene particles less than 50 nanometers long (in light fluorescent green) have infiltrated the gastrointestinal tract, antenna, and thoracic appendages of this freshwater plankter, Daphnia magna. Plankton like these are the bedrock of the marine food chain. Research is just beginning on the accumulation of nanometer-scale pollution in wildlife. No analytical methods exist to identify nanoplastics in food. Plastic embedded in tiny plankton wind up in fish, which are eaten by bigger fish, which are eaten by us. This tiny plankter’s plastic problem is your problem, too.