Synthetic Polymer Contamination Found in Bottled Water

If you have purchased bottled water sold by certain leading brands, you may have a legal claim against the manufacturer. Contact our office for a free consultation today.


In a recent report published by the State University of New York in Fredonia, Department of Geology & Environmental Sciences, bottled water samples were analyzed for microplastic contamination from 27 different lots from 11 different brands purchased from 19 locations in nine different countries. Researchers used a stain that turns fluorescent when absorbed by a polymeric material, allowing for smaller particles to be detected.

Ninety-three percent of bottles analyzed showed signs of microplastic contamination with data suggesting contamination partially from the packaging and/or bottling process.


The report’s executive summary shows:

  •  Testing included 259 individual bottles from 27 different lots across 11 brands
     Purchased from 19 locations in 9 countries
  • 93% of bottled water showed some sign of microplastic contamination
    After accounting for possible background (lab) contamination
  • Average of 10.4 microplastic particles >100 um per liter of bottled water
    Confirmed by FTIR spectroscopic analysis
    Twice as much as within the previous study on tap water
  • Including smaller particles (6.5–100 um), an average of 325 microplastic particles per liter
    Identified via Nile Red tagging alone
    No spectroscopic confirmation
    Range of 0 to over 10,000 microplastic particles per liter
    95% are particles between 6.5–100 um in size
  • For particles > 100 um:
    Fragments were the most common morphology (66%) followed by fibers
    Polypropylene was the most common polymer (54% – matches a common plastic used for the bottle cap)
    4% of particles showed the presence of industrial lubricants
  • Data suggests contamination is at least partially coming from the packaging and/or the bottling process itself


According to the BBC article, “the research into bottled water involved buying packs from 11 different global and national brands in countries chosen for their large populations or their relatively high consumption of bottled water.”  The brands included:

International Brands:

  • Aquafina
  • Dasani
  • Evian
  • Nestle Pure Life
  • San Pellegrino

National Brands:

  • Aqua (Indonesia)
  • Bisleri (India)
  • Epura (Mexico)
  • Gerolsteiner (Germany)
  • Minalba (Brazil)
  • Wahaha (China)


Video – Study Finds Plastic in Bottled Water, the World Health Organization to Review Health Impact


“The World Health Organization is launching a review of the impacts of plastic on our health. This comes after tests detected tiny plastic particles in many of the most popular brands of bottled water. More details from BBC News’ David Shukman.” – CBS News


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Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman LLP is working with the law firm Sanders Phillips Grossman in investigating potential claims of bottled water contamination.

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