Microplastics in drinking water: A review and assessment

Dafne Eerkes-Medrano*, Heather A. Leslie, Brian Quinn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The first media reports of microplastics (MPs) in drinking water (DW) appeared in 2017 and were followed by several scientific publications in 2018. Three important areas to consider on the subject of MPs in DW are as follows: (1) what is the evidence of MPs in DW? (2) how do MPs enter DW? (3) what are the toxicological implications for humans? We review these issues by presenting the published evidence of MPs in tap water, bottled water and at intake and outflow of DW treatment plants; discuss the potential routes by which MPs reach these destinations; address the available evidence of potential impacts of MPs on humans via DW and provide a preliminary human exposure assessment; and suggest future directions for research and approaches to address emerging concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Science and Health
Early online date11 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • microplastic
  • drinking water


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