No Standard Yet for Microplastic in Drinking Water: BPOM

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  • Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, head of the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM). TEMPO/M. Iqbal Ichsan

    Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, head of the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM). TEMPO/M. Iqbal Ichsan

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Food and Drug Monitoring Agency [BPOM] chief Penny K. Lukito has admitted to the absence of safety standards for microplastic in drinking water. She explained the World Health Organization [WHO] had yet to issue a limit to microplastic content in drinking water.

    “We refer to the WHO on the drinking water standards, because there has been no research on the matter thus far. The WHO has just made a statement that it will look into the discovery [of microplastic in bottled water],” Penny said as quoted from Tempo magazine published Monday, March 19, 2018.

    Results of recent global research by State University of New York at Fredonia supported by US NGO Orb Media revealed that bottled water circulating in the market turned out to contain microplastic.

    Penny said it would be difficult to gauge the impact of the microplastic content on health bereft of any standard. 

    Read: Microplastic Study: Govt to Improve Bottled Water Quality 

    “We are waiting for the WHO to issue a statement on the danger of microplastic and the content limit that human bodies can tolerate. There is no need for people to panic,” she added.

    Earlier, researchers from the University of New York at Fredonia tested 259 samples of bottled water from 11 brands marketed in eight countries, with results showing 93 percent of the samples containing microplastic.

    Indonesia was among the eight countries, as it was deemed as one of the largest markets for bottled water. A total of 30 Aqua bottles were purchased from Jakarta, Bali and Medan and sent to New York for the research in November 2017. The research team was spearheaded by Sherri A. Mason, Victoria Welch, and Joseph Nerako.