Study shows that boiling water effectively removes large amount of microplastics

8 Mar 2024 by The Water Diplomat

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology has found that boiling water is an effective way to remove large amounts of microplastics. If the water contains enough calcium, boiling the water can act to encrust the plastic particles, forcing them to precipitate out of the water and purifying the water in the process. Boiling the water can effectively remove up to 80% of polystyrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene particles suspended in the water.

In the January edition of The Water Diplomat, it was reported that while previous attention to plastic particles focused on microplastics, in fact if nanoparticles are included it appears that one litre of water could contain up to 250,000 particles. With the results of the recent study, it would appear that boiling with calcium rich water is a simple and effective way to remove large quantities of particles.  This finding refers to particles that are between 0.1 and 150 nanometres in diameter, i.e. to microplastics, so it is not yet clear from this study what happens to smaller, nanoparticles, although one would assume that the same principles apply.

In a separate scientific development, medical scientists have found that patients whose blood samples are contaminated with microplastics have a significantly higher risk of suffering strokes or heart attacks than people who do not have such contamination. A study into the health of  305 patients who already suffered from arterial disease, of whom 257 were followed for almost three years, showed that those who has plastic particles in their arteries were 4.5 times more likely to suffer from a stroke, a heart attack, or to die from another cause.