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Nearly all of Lebanon’s tap water ‘contaminated with plastic fibers’ report warns

Nearly 95 percent of Lebanon’s tap water contaminated by plastic fiber (Shutterstock)
DUBAI: Lebanon tops the Middle East for the highest percentage of contaminated tap water with plastic fibers, and with a figure of 93.8 percent, it is the second worst in the world and scientists warn that these fibers could be cancerous – but they do not know.
The only country with higher levels of contamination is the US, where the figure for tap water contaminated with micro-plastic is 94.4 percent, while 80 percent of tap water tested positive globally, according to data compiled by Orb Media.
The fibers are likely to have originated from common items such as fabrics including clothing, carpets, and upholstery.
Experts are not certain what the implications are on people’s health, but it is generally believed that the plastic fibers could increase the risk of cancer and other health problems.
Orb Media’s report reads: “Micro plastics have been shown to absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses, and then release them when consumed by fish and mammals.”
The report falls short of explaining how the water has become contaminated and it warns that there are currently no procedures in place to filter the fibers out.
But while there is still a lot not known about the issue, State University of New York micro-plastic expert Dr Sherri Mason said there was sufficient information to be seriously concerned.
“We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it’s having on wildlife, to be concerned… If it’s impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that it’s not going to somehow impact us?” Mason told British daily The Guardian.
DUBAI: Lebanon tops the Middle East for the highest percentage of contaminated tap water with plastic fibers, and with a figure of 93.8 percent, it is the second worst in the world and scientists warn that these fibers could be cancerous – but they do not know.
The only country with higher levels of contamination is the US, where the figure for tap water contaminated with micro-plastic is 94.4 percent, while 80 percent of tap water tested positive globally, according to data compiled by Orb Media.
The fibers are likely to have originated from common items such as fabrics including clothing, carpets, and upholstery.
Experts are not certain what the implications are on people’s health, but it is generally believed that the plastic fibers could increase the risk of cancer and other health problems.
Orb Media’s report reads: “Micro plastics have been shown to absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses, and then release them when consumed by fish and mammals.”
The report falls short of explaining how the water has become contaminated and it warns that there are currently no procedures in place to filter the fibers out.
But while there is still a lot not known about the issue, State University of New York micro-plastic expert Dr Sherri Mason said there was sufficient information to be seriously concerned.
“We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it’s having on wildlife, to be concerned… If it’s impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that it’s not going to somehow impact us?” Mason told British daily The Guardian.

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