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More research needed into microplastics in our drinking water

A sample of water that contains possible microplastics at a water treatment plant in the US. Source: AAP

The World Health Organisation is calling for more research into microplastics - the tiny bits of plastics that break down through our soil and waterways and eventually end up in our stomachs. The report says scientists currently do not know how microplastics affect the human body but are calling for more research to determine future risk.

Eight million tonnes of plastic are ending up in the earth's waterways every year. It ranges from big pieces of commercial plastic, like bottles and bags, to microplastic, particles of plastic less than 5 millimeters across. 

Microplastic has become of increasing concern to researchers - who are finding it at high levels in our drinking water.

In a report released on Thursday, the World Health Organisation or WHO recognized humans are consuming microplastics but said the direct effects on the body are not yet known.

An environmental scientist from Macquarie University Paul Harvey says the science is just not there yet.

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