A study by the Danish EPA has examined whether anti-oxidants (the substances added to stabilise water pipes) migrate into drinking water when it flows through plastic pipes.
Ten different stretches of plastic pipe were examined, and the results from all ten show that substances rarely migrate from the pipes. In the few cases where this does happen, it has been in very small amounts, which are not hazardous to health.
The study also shows that no phthalates migrate from the pipes. - We can only see small migration in areas where the water is in the pipes for a long time, for example during the winter in areas with holiday homes. But there again these are very small amounts and they are not harmful to health- said Susanne Rasmussen, BSc (Engin.) from the Danish EPA.
The study was made on the basis of the uncertainty which arose in the wake of an article from the Technical University of Denmark in 2002, which stated that substances migrate from plastic pipes. Subsequently some doubt arose as to the extent to which the amounts of the substances migrating could be harmful to health.
- The Technical University of Denmark examined new plastic pipes, and not those under the ground. Laboratory experiments do not always reveal exactly the same as reality. Therefore, we thought that there was a need to examine the actual conditions before making a decision regarding the measures we would recommend. On the face of things, we did not think there was reason to dig up all the plastic pipelines in Denmark, and our new study has confirmed our first thoughts on the matter - said Susanne Rasmussen.
At a meeting of the Danish EPA Water Panel, which is composed of representatives from the waterworks associations DANVA (the Danish Water and Waste Water Association) and FVD, the medical officer of health and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the results of the study were discussed, and DANVA are very pleased with the results.
- Consumers can safely drink the water in their taps. Our meeting yesterday of the Danish EPA Water Panel where the results of the study of migration from plastic pipes were presented gave us good news, and toxicologists at the Danish EPA assess that the migration demonstrated does not give rise to health concerns - said Carl Emil Larsen from DANVA.