Plastic

Scientists Have Confirmed That Humans Are Becoming Polluted With Plastic

Plastic straws are diminishing by the day, we're being told to use bamboo toothbrushes and McDonald's have ditched plastic toys. This is all well and good for the environment but it could also be damaging to us humans too.

Scientists Have Confirmed That Humans Are Becoming Polluted With Plastic

No, not because your nibbling on the latest Angry Birds figurine out of your Happy Meal... probably avoid that.

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that our bodies are becoming polluted with plastic as tiny pieces have been found in samples from all eight participants in an pilot study.

 

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

We never intentionally consume plastic - well the majority of us don't that's for sure - but sources have suggested the finding is coming from eating fish or drinking water from plastic bottles.

The research was focusing on how much plastic we eat and drink every day and found that some pieces can get lodged inside our bodies. Nice.

Campaigners have said that the scale of the plastic crisis means it's 'impossible' for us to avoid eating, drinking and even breathing it in...

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

 

According to the MailOnline, plastic consumption can come with harmful effects including the risk of bacterial infections, introducing harmful chemicals to the body, irritating the gut lining, and affecting immune responses.

Lead researcher Dr Philipp Schwabl said: "This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected - that plastics ultimately reach the human gut. Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases.

"The smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the bloodstream and lymphatic system and may even reach the liver.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Now that we have first evidence for microplastics inside humans, we need further research to understand what this means for human health."

Dr Stephanie Wright, a research fellow at King's College London, added that it's possible for larger plastic particles to pass through but 'smaller particles could potentially cross the gut wall'.

 

Researchers monitored participants from the UK, Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and Austria. The results showed every sample tested positive for the presence of microplastics - with the most common being polypropylene and polyethylene-terephthalate (PET).

They might sound alien to you and me but basically they're both commonly found in food and drink packaging.

The research was a pilot study involving eight participants. Each kept a food diary for a week which showed that they had all eaten food wrapped in plastic or drunk from plastic bottles.

Well, that's me going buying a stainless steel water bottle. Maybe I'll grab myself one with a whale print from Chilly's to remind myself I'm saving me and the ocean at the exact same time.

Donate to our charity partner, Plastic Oceans Foundation here

Featured Image Credit: PA