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)
Updated 07 September 2017

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

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.

Baby Talk: When to worry about your baby's weight

A baby born at a higher than average weight, will not necessarily grow up to be a large child. (Shutterstock)
Updated 50 sec ago

Baby Talk: When to worry about your baby's weight

  • The percentage of childhood obesity is rising
  • In recent history, people wanted their children to be chubbier and it was considered a sign of being well-nourished

DUBAI: There is no need for you to fixate on your baby’s weight over the first year or so but there are some factors that can influence whether or not a child will suffer from obesity in later life which are worth being aware of.

Why do you worry about your baby’s weight?

It is part of modern day living that parents worry about obesity and it is a justifiable concern. The percentage of childhood obesity is rising and with obese children, even as young as two (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) being more likely to become obese adults it is evident that early eating habits weight management are increasingly important. No parent wishes to increase the chance of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or other possible physical, social or emotional consequences of obesity for their child.  In recent history, it was the reverse of this concern where people wanted their children to be chubbier and it was considered a sign of being well-nourished, and yet today parents are wondering how much is too much?

When should you worry about your baby’s weight?

Reassuringly, in most cases it is misguided to worry about a baby’s weight in the first year. Babies are meant to be chubby and it is usual and right for them to store up fat during year one which they will soon use up in year two and their energetic toddler years. Newborn babies are routinely weighed in their first few months of life and particularly in the first few weeks to make sure they are feeding and thriving properly. Beyond this it is un-necessary to continue weighing your baby all the time. Babies grow in fits and starts, with periods of little change or sometimes even weight loss.

What factors should you be aware of that may affect your baby’s weight?

If the mother or both parents are significantly overweight there is a significantly greater chance of a baby being overweight as it grows up. This is both a nature (genetics) and nurture (habits and lifestyle) issue.


Birth Weight

A baby born at a higher than average weight, will not necessarily grow up to be a large child, nor will a low birth weight baby necessarily remain smaller than average. Interestingly however both very high birth weight but also low birth weight can have some influence on future health weight. The best chance of having a baby of a healthy size is when a mother gains a healthy amount of weight in pregnancy. This will depend on the weight the mother is when she becomes pregnant and should be discussed with her healthcare provider.


It is considered that the single best protection against is breastfeeding. Breastfed babies tend to regulate their own milk intake. It is easier to over-feed a baby when the baby is formula fed. It is a common mistake for mothers to decide to turn to bottle feeding in the first couple of weeks when they notice a dip in their baby’s weight gain, however this is quite natural. Whilst expert advice should always be sought, it is not necessarily the right answer to turn to formula milk.

Hunger cues

It is also important for parents to learn to identify their baby’s cries as not all will be because they are hungry. However because feeding at breast or bottle will comfort the baby it is often mistaken that the cry was hunger and the feeding can soon become a form of comfort rather than sustenance which can set up lifelong habits of food equals comfort.

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