Following on from the report that there is too much plastic piping in the built environment that is causing a significant fire risk, this new report available from introduces the significant amount of plastic that enters into the human body via drinking water. This plastic or micro-plastics specifically are being released as the pipe degrades. This can be from PVC, PEX or PE pipe that are used in drinking water and mains replacement pipes. This is also added to by the amount of plastic in the built environment, consumer goods, packaging and other sources. Safe Piping Matters (2024) have issued the report ( with strong evidence showing the torn, pitted and peeling pipe after a very short period of time. This indigestible plastic can have serious effects on humans and causes multiple health impacts.

The use of plastic has greatly increased over recent years and with it the plastic pollution levels to 360 million metric tonnes in 2018 according to Safe Piping Matters (2024). It is not just drinking water but also sewage, soli and waste pipe that also is now predominantly plastic which means that these are also a source of micro-plastics.

PEX pipe that is becoming more popular in heating systems is sensitive to damage to UV light and can also chemicals to permeate through into the water. The consumption of micro-plastic and nano-plastic is not just from water but also air pollution and it is inhaled in public places and indoor air pollution. It has been known for many years that many cities in the UK exceed WHO (2024) limits on air pollution that contain NOX and Carbon Monoxide but there is also pollution from tyres and road traffic.

This report is also highlighted in the Installer Online and raised by The Copper Sustainability Partnership (CuSP) who suggested that copper piping systems are far more safer and do not leak contaminants into water systems. Copper has been a system of choice for thousands of years and is still the most popular medium and now with the increasing demand for copper press systems it has become cleaner and does not use solder and flux or any flame to seal joints. This is safer for the user and the environment and does not add contaminants to the water.

Safe Piping Matters (2023)