Plastic is seen on the shores of Lebanon (The Daily Star / Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanese tap water has the world's second highest concentration of plastic particles, a recent study showed, and its potentially harmful impacts are poorly understood. A study by Orb Media has revealed that tiny plastic fibers, known as microplastics, can be found in the tap water of countries across the world, with higher concentrations in parts of the developing world, and lower – but still substantial – concentrations in Europe.According to Hussam Hawwa, the director of water management consultancy firm Difaf who provided the Lebanese tap water samples to Orb Media, little is known about the effect these plastics might have on human health.Hawwa pointed out that bad water management in Lebanon was a key reason that the country ranks so poorly in the study.Tap water is not commonly drunk in Lebanon, but it is used for cooking, cleaning and bathing – meaning Lebanese residents almost certainly ingest microplastics.Although few studies have been carried out on the effects of microplastics in tap water, marine scientists have been dealing with plastic pollution for years, given the high concentration of this material in the world's oceans.Recycle Lebanon has initiated a #BalaPlastic (no plastic) campaign, to pressure supermarkets, clubs and restaurants to opt out of single-use plastics.
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