3.2. Occurrence of microplastics in drinking water

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The WHO prepared a summary based on 50 literature studies investigating the microplastic content of drinking water and water used as a source [10]. This presents the possible sources of microplastics (human life, transport, agriculture, industry) and their transport (urban dust, sewage, wastes) into natural waters, and the microplastic pollution reaching the consumer during drinking water treatment (coagulation, flocculation) and distribution (through the erosion of plastic pipes/nets) are also discussed. They draw attention to the fact that microplastic content in drinking water poses a risk to the human body: the particles can be absorbed or even accumulate in living tissues; the additives used in the production of plastics and the monomers they contain can be toxic. They note that only a limited number of drinking water tests were completed until 2019 in the international literature, including some that are less reliable [10]. Recently, very interesting articles have been published. In one, for example, it was reported that very high levels of microplastic contamination were found in drinking fountains at 42 metro stations in Mexico City, which could be considered as potential „microplastic hotspots” for human consumption [72], while in an another article, they came to the conclusion that in the water bodies of coastal metropolises (in the ponds, streams, rivers, etc. of the water catchment area), the microplastic pollution accumulates and increases from land areas to estuaries and the open ocean [73]. Exceptional events, heavy rains, and storms are key factors in microplastic pollution of surface waters that serve as sources of drinking water [74]. In 2020, Wessling Hungary (a laboratory, testing and consulting company) measured drinking water at two locations in Budapest (schools in North Buda and Csepel) for Greenpeace Hungary: 7 and 10 microplastic particles were detected in the 1,500-liter drinking water samples, which does not seem like a lot, but the lack of uniform methodology makes comparison impossible [75].
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