Researchers Discover Microplastics in 100 Percent of People Studied

Microplastics have been found in products including bottled water

Everywhere scientists have looked for them they have found tiny bits of degraded plastic-including, now, in human poop.

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria monitored a group of participants from countries across the world, including Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria.

"There are initial indications that microplastics can damage the gastrointestinal tract by promoting inflammatory reactions or absorbing harmful substances", Schwabl said. In animal studies, the highest plastic concentrations have been found in the gut, but the smallest microplastic particles can enter the bloodstream, lymphatic system and may even reach the liver, Schwabl added.

In the pilot study one participant was selected as a representative of each of the eight countries - keeping a food diary in the week prior to providing the sample. "In our laboratory, we were able to detect nine different types of plastics ranging in size from 50 to 500 micrometres", explains Bettina Liebmann, the expert at the Federal Environment Agency responsible for microplastics analyses.

11 types of plastic were analysed and at least two among them-PET and polystyrene were found to be the most common types of plastics used in wrapping food items in India by the Global Alliance Against Incinerators (GAIA) and 10 other environmental groups in a study released earlier this year. "Ukraine", of microplastics found even in table salt.

More research is needed to determine the impact of microplastics on human health, but the research team believes they may affect the immune response of our gut and that toxic plastics, like BPA, could interfere with hormones.

The war on single-use plastic straws and grocery bags continues, but the problem of plastic pollution isn't going away any time soon.

Plastic particles with a size of less than 5 millimetres are called microplastics.

The world produces about 400 million metric tons of plastic a year, the equivalent of 882 billion pounds, and 80 percent ends up deposited in landfills and other parts of the environment.

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His concerns were echoed by Mark Browne, an expert on microplastics at the University of New South Wales, Australia, who said the study lacked crucial details.

After the 26th United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG) in Vienna, the public learned a grim truth.

"We will also be exposed to particles from house dust, food packaging materials and the use of plastic bottles". They have turned up everywhere from the seafloor to farm soil to the air around us-as well as in the first few foods and beverages scientists looked at-making it nearly certain people have been ingesting them. "Six of the eight ate sea fish, too; none of them were vegetarians".

Every stool sample tested positive for some microplastic.

In the first study of its kind, researchers say they have found evidence of tiny plastic particles in the human gut. Humans are also likely exposed to microplastics as a result of plastic contamination from food packaging or processing.

"Most participants drank liquids from plastic bottles", Schwabl said. Now we are literally eating our own trash.

And they found them.

Mr Dagavos, Head of Programs at Plastic Soup told talkRADIO's Matthew Wright: "Plastics should not be in our bodies and it is there - so, the big question is 'What does it do?"

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