Plastic particles found in every human subject of global study


According to a study presented at the meeting, microplastics made their way into the human body and were found the stools for the first time.

A food diary kept by all the participants showed they all consumed food and drink wrapped in plastic.

Scientists from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria identified evidence of microplastics in the stools of each individual who took part in an global study.

Carried out by researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria, the small pilot study looked at eight participants from countries around the the world including Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria. In a worrying warning sign for our health, they found all eight participants tested positive for microplastics in their stool samples, with nine separate types of plastic identified. Then they turned over stool samples to the researchers who then looked for microplastics. "Now that we know we can detect microplastics in humans, we can develop larger studies, in both healthy and diseased patients, to find out if they are a contributing factor".

The researchers found plastic in all eight of the samples-around 20 particles per 10 grams of poop. "Now we need to think about how it will impact human health", said Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.

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Microplastics have forever been lodged in our lexicon thanks to David Attenborough and other environmental campaigners highlighting the enormous damage caused by the irresponsible dumping of plastic waste in our oceans.

Though it will take more than 1,000 years for most of these items to degrade, many will soon break apart into tiny shards known as microplastics, trillions of which have been showing up in the oceans, fish, tap water and even table salt. Another found that microplastic contamination in bottled water was almost universal. "However, I'm sure with time, we will have more conclusive evidence, but for now, it's unclear how plastics affect human health".

Schwabl said that there could be danger to the gastrointestinal tract due to microplastics causing an inflammatory reaction or absorbing toxins.

Researchers say that people are eating tiny pieces of plastic along with their food - after a test on faeces found plastic in every sample investigated. None were vegetarians - and six consumed sea fish. Thanks to their many practical uses, plastics are widely used in everyday life, so people are constantly exposed to them - the environment itself. He noted that the small sample size limited the reach of the findings, but statistician Daniela Dunkler at the Medical University of Vienna said that it is reasonable to estimate that more than half of the world's population may have microplastics in their stool.

AFP reported that researcher at King's College London Stephanie believes the biggest question we should be asking, which will better help us address just what danger microplastics in the food chain means, is by looking at whether plastics are accumulating in the body. That highlights how hard it is to avoid plastic contamination, making it hard to say for sure that all the plastic they found in the poop was there because of what the people were eating, rather than some of it landing there while the subjects were packaging up their poop to mail it off.