Published: Thu, October 25, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Scientists say humans have started pooping microplastics

Scientists say humans have started pooping microplastics

In a small, first-of-its-kind study, researchers have found microplastics in stool samples from people around the world. Liebmann and Schwabl hope to launch a larger study with more participants to look for any links between the amounts, types and sizes of plastic particles, along with where people live, what they eat and other lifestyle factors.

Tiny plastic particles have been discovered in human waste for the first time, according to research that the Medical University of Vienna and Austria's Federal Environment Agency presented on Tuesday... A presentation at a gastroenterology conference in Vienna this week reported the preliminary results of a pilot study looking at fecal samples, finding nine different kinds of microplastics in the samples they analyzed.

The most common plastic particles found were polypropylene - used in plastic molding and diapers - and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is most common in soft drink bottles.

On average, the researchers found 20 microplastic particles per 10 grams of stool.

They had kept food diaries which showed they had all eaten products from plastic packaging or drunk from plastic bottles. The smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the bloodstream and lymphatic system and may even reach the liver. Because of these multiple plastic, the researchers can not identify the source of the ingested plastic for sure, Schwabl says: "Through pollution, 2 to 5 % of all plastics produced end up in the seas".

Microplastics - defined as pieces less than.02 inches long, roughly the size of a grain of rice - have become a major concern for environmental researchers during the past decade. Microplastics - including microfibers from clothing - are floating in the air and are found in most of our bottled and tap water, our beer, our sea, rock and lake salt, and our soil.

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Researchers have been working on a universal vaccine , he said, but that's still a long way off."So get the vaccine every year". Public health clinics, local pharmacies and some doctor's offices will have free flu shots starting on October 22.


Bottles of water in a convenience store in California on March 16, 2018. In addition, many US cities are moving to ban plastic straws and single-use items such as cotton swabs and drink stirrers, which can break down into microplastics. He said "Although there are initial indications that microplastics can damage the gastrointestinal tract by promoting inflammatory reactions or absorbing harmful substances, further studies are needed to assess the potential dangers of microplastics for humans". None of the participants was a vegetarian and six of them ate sea fish.

Scientists have identified evidence of microplastics in the faeces of each participant in an global study spanning seven countries. Nine out of ten types of plastics searched for were found in all the samples.

"Personally, I did not expect that each sample would".

"I'm not at all surprised, or particularly anxious by these findings", commented Alistair Boxall, a professor in environmental science at the University of York in Britain. "It's inevitable some of these things will get into our lungs and digestive systems".

Speaking about the findings Dr Luiza Mirpuri, the organisation's medical adviser, said: "It will be catastrophic, not now but in the third generation because each time we have diseases, new diseases from new contaminants".

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