Microplastics found in human stools for the first time
25 October, 2018, 03:02 | Author: Kara Nash
Microplastics to wind up in food through plastic packaging, or could enter the food chain by being eaten by sea life, he said. In the cases of this study, the plastic that showed up in people is associated with eating plastic wrapped foods, and drinking from plastic bottles. A research team in Vienna examined stool from participants in Europe, Japan, and Russian Federation and found out that every single person who took part had some form of plastic in their bodies from ingesting some form of microplastic particles.
Researchers from the Environment Agency Austria and the Medical University of Vienna followed eight healthy volunteers from different parts of the world - Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom and Austria. He and his colleagues found that all eight stool samples contained polypropylene and polyethylene-terephthalate particles, which are major components of plastic bottle caps and plastic bottles.
Researchers tested participants' stools and found several toxic chemicals present, suggesting the particles were ingested through food.
"We don't have exact evidence from where this is coming from - it could be that most of these materials may be coming from house dust and the use of plastic containers and packaging or, for example, nylon fibers from our tumble dryer - and this could potentially outweigh the environmental routes of exposure", he noted.
The scourge of plastic pollution has spread to the human gut, with researchers finding small "microplastic" particles in the digestive systems of people across the globe. "Now that we know we can detect microplastics in humans, we can develop larger studies, in both healthy and diseased patients, to find out if they are a contributing factor".
With microplastics found in so things like shellfish, water, and salt it would seem likely it's in us and now for the first time there's initial evidence microplastics are indeed being consumed by humans.
Microplastics are tiny particles of plastic less than 5 millimetres in size that occur when plastic products break down. A study released earlier this year found that 93% of water in plastic bottles sampled was contaminated with microplastics. "And how can we avoid plastic entering our bodies?'"
Every single stool sample tested positive for microplastics, the study reports.
Nine of the ten most common types of plastics were discovered in stool samples from individuals from eight countries, including Britain.
Scientists have identified evidence of microplastics in the faeces of each participant in an worldwide study spanning seven countries.
"Personally, I did not expect that each sample would". None of the participants were vegetarians, and six of them consumed wild fish. Significant amounts of microplastic have already been detected in tuna, lobster and shrimp.
Much more research is needed, he said, before we can determine the origin of plastics found in the gut, and especially whether they are harmful.
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