Are you eating Plastic?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

You wouldn’t dream of ordering a side of plastic with your meal, but you’re already eating 100 pieces of plastic each day without even realizing it, according to an alarming new study. When scientists from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University placed Petri dishes with sticky dust traps on tables near dinner plates in people’s homes at meal times, they found up to 14 plastic pieces on average in the dishes at the end of a 20-minute meal, which equates to 100 plastic fibers falling on a large dinner plate. Taking the calculations even further, the scientists concluded that an average person will swallow as many as 68,415 plastic fibers a year by doing nothing more than sitting down to eat what could very well be an otherwise healthy home-cooked meal.

Plastic in your home’s air outweighs that found in seafood
Seafood has gotten a lot of attention in recent years for its plastic content, so the researchers decided to compare the plastic fibers found in mussels with the amount that the average household meal contains. Surprisingly, they discovered that each mussel contained fewer than two microplastics, which they believe come from their marine environment. They’ve therefore concluded that people consume 100 plastic particles per year on average from eating mussels, which is significantly less than the amount we consume because of household dust.

Minimize your plastic exposure
Ingesting plastic particles has been linked to a host of concerning health problems, including lung damage, hormonal interference, and kidney damage. There is little you can do to control the plastic in household dust, so it’s essential that you take steps to minimize your plastic exposure in other areas. For example, if you are drinking bottled water, it’s time to stop. A recent study has revealed that 93 percent of the bottled water sold in the U.S. contains plastic fibers. The amounts vary dramatically, with some having no particles whatsoever and other exceeding 10,000 particles in a single container. The bottle manufacturing process is partly responsible, with the bigger particles largely made of propylene – the same metal used in most bottle caps. Some of the particles are also believed to come from the original source of water. There are a lot of toxins in our environment, and we might not be able to avoid all of them, so it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to the sources that we can control.

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