The Average Person Eats About 50,000 Microplastics Particles A Year

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The Average Person Eats About 50,000 Microplastics Particles A Year
The Average Person Eats About 50,000 Microplastics Particles A Year

Video: The Average Person Eats About 50,000 Microplastics Particles A Year

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Video: People eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study finds 2023, February
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The average person eats about 50,000 microplastics particles a year

An average person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastics a year and inhales the same amount, says the first-of-its-kind study. Perhaps the real number will turn out to be even larger, since the scientists analyzed only a small amount of food and drinks for plastic contamination.

The average person eats about 50,000 microplastics particles a year
The average person eats about 50,000 microplastics particles a year

An average person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastics a year and inhales the same amount, says the first-of-its-kind study. Perhaps the real number will turn out to be even larger, since the scientists analyzed only a small amount of food and drinks for plastic contamination. Scientists reported that drinking large amounts of water in plastic bottles dramatically increases the amount of particles consumed.

The health effects of absorbed microplastics are still largely unknown, but they can release toxic substances. Some particles are very small and can penetrate human tissues, triggering immune responses in them. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, summarized data from 26 previous studies that measured the amount of microplastic particles in fish, shellfish, sugar, salt, beer and water, as well as in city air.

The scientists then used the U.S. government's dietary guidelines to calculate the amount of microparticles people ingest in a year along with the recommended foods. They estimate that adults absorb about 50,000 microplastics particles per year, while children absorb about 40,000. However, not all products have been tested and, according to lead author of the study, Kieran Cox of the University of Victoria, Canada, there are still serious gaps. which you need to fill in in the future. Unexplored foods (bread, meat, dairy products and vegetables), she said, can contain as much plastic, which means that a person can absorb hundreds of thousands of microplastic particles a year.

Bottled water has been studied the most. On average, it contains 22 times more microplastics than tap water. A person who drinks only bottled water will consume 130,000 microplastics particles a year from that source alone, compared to 4,000 from tap water, the researchers said.

Scientists do not know what happens when microplastics are inhaled, but new research suggests that most of the inhaled particles are swallowed rather than coughed up. According to scientists, it is still difficult to understand exactly how they affect health, but even their huge number is already alarming. Microplastic pollution is mainly caused by the decomposition of plastic debris and appears to be common across the planet. Researchers find microplastics everywhere: in the air, soil, rivers and even the deepest ocean trenches. Microplastic particles have been found in tap and bottled water, seafood and beer. They have also been found in human stool samples confirming that humans absorb these particles.

However, Stephanie Wright of King's College London, who was not involved in the study, says microplastics are less powerful in the body than other absorbable particles. For example, the average person in Western countries absorbs billions of microparticles of titanium dioxide, which is added to food.

The study's author, Kieran Cox, says that studying the problem even changed her own behavior. “I now try to avoid plastic wrapped food and water in plastic bottles as much as possible,” says Cox.

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