Food regulator FSSAI's scientific panel has examined the issue of the presence of microplastic in packaged water and found it to be within safe limits, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, the Minister said the government has received a study conducted in New York on plastic pollution in bottled water.
A scientific panel of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has done a detailed examination and said the presence of microplastics in bottled water "is within safe limits".
He, however, stressed on strengthening research in this area.
In a written reply, Vardhan said a report on plastic pollution in bottled water was received from Orb Media which conducted research at the State University of New York at Fredonia, Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, on various brands of packaged drinking water and reported the presence of microplastics.
This matter was placed before the Scientific Panel on Water (including flavored water) and Beverages (Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic) of FSSAI, he said, adding that comments were also sought from other packaging and research institutes.
The panel, after detailed examination, opined that since the packaging and labelling regulations of 2011 on plastic bottles specifies safe overall migration limit of plastic in contact with food materials as 60mg/kg, this would cover the migration of any microplastic in water, the Minister said.
"Overall weight of micro-plastic particles would be of the order of 0.01mg/kg and well within the safe limit," Vardhan said.