This easy tip helps eradicate micro-plastics from your water

This easy tip helps eradicate micro-plastics from your water
This easy tip helps eradicate micro-plastics from your water

On a daily basis, we are constantly in contact with particles so small that they often escape our perception – but whose impact on our environment and health could be considerable. Nano-plastics and micro-plastics, also referred to by the acronym NMP (for N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone), are found in the soil, water and even the air we breathe.

Faced with this omnipresence, the scientific community is striving to work on methods to eliminate them effectively and for the good of all. The potential effects of NMPs on health are still being studied but initial research indicates that they could contribute to health problems such as endocrine disruption, explain our colleagues at Futura Sciences.

Boiling process

Environmentally, they are considered vectors of chemical and biological contaminants capable of accumulating in the food chain and releasing potentially harmful compounds.

To counter this threat, complex filtration systems have been designed to capture these particles in the water. However, a recent study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters by researchers from Guangzhou University in China reveals a method surprising in its simplicity and effectiveness: boiling water.

This technique relies on the use of hard water which is rich in minerals – notably calcium and magnesium salts – and which tends to form calcium carbonate (limestone) when heated. The boiling process would form limestone crystal structures that encapsulate these NMPs. It would then be sufficient to clean the accumulations of limestone loaded with NMP or to filter the water using a simple coffee filter to eliminate most of them.

The results obtained by this team are promising: 5 minutes of boiling water containing 300 milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter would remove up to 90% of floating MPNs.

Even with a concentration of 60 milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter, boiling would remove about 25% of all nano- and micro-plastics. These figures are all the more significant as the optimal concentration of calcium carbonate for water consumption is between 80 and 100 milligrams per liter.

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