Tiny pieces of plastic measuring less than five millimeters in length-or roughly the size of a sesame seed-have become a almost ubiquitous presence in our world.
Researchers at the Vienna University of Medicine and the Austrian Environment Agency, headed by Dr. Philip Svalbell, made the announcement at the worldwide gastroenterology conference of the United European Gastroenterology (UEG Week) organized in the Austrian capital. Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases.
Small pieces of plastic are making their way into the human gut as people eat contaminated seafood and come into contact with plastic-packaged food and drink, a study on human stools has found. As many as nine different plastics, ranging between 50 and 500 micrometers in size, were detected.
The microplastics included polypropylene (PP), polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) and others, a research presented at the 26th UEG Week in Vienna revealed. Microplastics have been found in tap water, bottled water, fish and mussel tissue and even in beer.
Usually speak about plastic pollution of the environment: forests, oceans, pier, full of rubbish.
An global study has discovered tiny particles of plastic in every human subjected to testing.
Microplastics in the body could cause complications to the immune system. Therefore, it is likely that the amount of plastic contamination may rise further if mankind does not change the current situation.' Friends of the Earth's head of policy Mike Childs said: 'This is further disturbing evidence of how pervasive plastics are in our environment.
The researchers are planning to conduct a larger study to confirm the findings, and to see if they can identify factors linked with microplastics in stool, such as a person's diet, lifestyle or where they live, Schwabl said. For the first time, a study of human feces has confirmed the inevitable: we're starting to shit out microplastics.
Scientists have shown for the first time that humans are ingesting microscopic plastic particles in their food.
Prof Alistair Boxall of the University of York said the study highlighted humans were being exposed to microplastics in their day-to-day lives.
Although the impact of microplastics on our health aren't settled their ubiquity is a growing concern. They are cosmopolitan in nature and have been even discovered in deep-sea sediments over three miles underneath the ocean surface, in Arctic sea ice, and on Swiss mountains.
Others have noted that the microplastics are still too large to be absorbed into the body, but the chemical toxins the plastics absorb may leach out.
It probably comes as no surprise that microplastic-plastic particles smaller than five millimeters-are in our poop, considering they've already been found across our entire food chain and in our toothpaste, but now science supports our assumptions. Six from the seven ate seafood in the week prior to testing, and all of them ate or drank from plastic packaging.
For Stephanie Wright, a researcher at King's College London, the real question is whether plastics are accumulating in the human body.