plastic pollution is showing up in our poop - polyethylene terephthalate
Small pieces of plastic waste less than 0. 197 inches (5 millimeters)
In the world's oceans, the scale is increasingly worrying, and scientists have found this phenomenon in dozens of aquatic species, including shrimp, the light dishes and fish on the human table.
Scientists once suspected that the tiny pollution was also entering people's bodies.
Now, at the joint European GI conference in Vienna, researchers have discovered for the first time how common evidence is that humans consume microplastics.
Researchers from Vienna Medical University and environmental agency Austria collected stool samples from eight human subjects from eight different countries: finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria.
All 8 subjects had 20 particles in their feces, each 0. 35274 ounces (10 grams)of feces.
In some cases, the subject's stool sample contains up to nine different types of polypropylene microplastics (PP)
And pet (PET)
The most common
The study did not indicate how the microplastic entered the gut of the subject.
That is, a food diary was recorded for each subject the week before the stool samples were collected.
Records show that six of these eight people ate seafood and they either ate food packed in plastic or drank food from plastic bottles.
"We don't know, but food and food packaging may be the source of the microplastics that are ingested," said the doctor.
Philip Schwarz, a gastrologist at Vienna Medical University and lead author of the study, said in an email interview.
Doctor, micro plastic has been detected in the liquid stored in PET bottleSchwabl says.
A study published in the journal Water Research in February 2018 found that microplastics are present in 38 different bottled water.
In addition to packaging, another important source of micro-plastic may be indoor dust containing plastic fibers, which we are inhaling and consuming when it falls on our food.
The exact meaning of these findings is not clear because little is known about the impact of microplastics on human health.
"There is no evidence of any harm to human beings by microplastics . "Schwabl says.
"However, animal studies have shown that microplastics taken orally may be transported through the gut because microplastics are detected in the animal's blood, lymph and liver.
Perhaps patients with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to be absorbed by particles.
However, larger trials are needed to clarify this. "The small-
Scale research should not be the last word on the topic.
"Now that we know the amount of micro plastic, our goal is:
"Tests to analyze micro-plastic contamination are carried out on a larger scale," Schwabl said . ".
Another scientist who had nothing to do with the study was not surprised by the findings.
Rolf Halden, director and professor of the Center for Environmental Health Engineering Bioengineering at Arizona State University, said humans have been exposed to plastic debris since the 1940 s.
He added that there is so much plastic in the environment now that exposure is almost everywhere.
One concern, Halden explains, is that tiny particles may accumulate in human tissues, where they can cause inflammation and have the potential to cause cancer.
"But there is not much research right now," he noted . ".
Halden, who participated in the 2014 U. S.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Forum on the risks that trace plastics in the marine environment may pose to human health said that while seafood may be a possible source, people are more likely to breathe and consume microplastics directly from consumer goods.
Including synthetic textiles that usually cover our bodies, as well as carpets and plastic products in our indoor environment.
Halden explained that humans are part of their living environment and that our bodies are constantly interacting with it.
"No matter where we are, we are constantly communicating with it in chemistry," he said . ".
Halden stressed that the study "does not need to be a reason for panic, but it will certainly inspire people to look deeper into exposure and related effects.