In 'first study of its kind', researchers detect microplastics in human waste

Pat Wise
October 26, 2018

For several years now, marine scientists have been warning that these ocean plastics are getting into the food supply via fish and other ocean animals.

"The reality of the situation is that there hasn't been enough scientific research to ascertain whether or not consuming plastic is actually harmful to the human body or not, and if so, what negative effects it has on human health", advises Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click.

Schwabl said in a statement released by the conference that the highest plastic concentrations in previous animals studies show collections of plastics in the gut, but the smallest particles could potentially enter the blood stream, and even the lymphatic system and the liver.

Those taking part - none of whom were vegetarian - kept a food diary in the week preceding their stool sampling. The most common ones were those found in food and drink packaging.

"Microplastics have been found in tap water, bottled water, fish and mussel tissue, and even in beer", he added.

Dr Schwabl and colleagues said: "Microplastic may impact human health via the gastrointestinal tract where it could affect the tolerance and immune response of the gut by bioaccumulation or aiding transmission of toxic chemicals and pathogens".

That difference can be made by reducing use of single-use plastic items and prioritizing the use of items that can be recycled and composted, among other actions, Rochman said. By the end of the year, we will produce enough Bubble Wrap to encircle the equator 10 times. Dr. Thomas Reiberger, and presenting this study at the UEG Week Vienna 2018. The data showed that all of them had consumed food that came in plastic wrapping, and had drunk water from plastic bottles.

The study's authors estimate that "more than 50% of the world population might have microplastics in their stools", the Guardian reports, but more research is needed to support this.

"Personally, I did not expect that each sample would be tested positive", Schwabl said.

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All eight volunteers in a small pilot study were found to have passed several types of plastic, with an average of 20 micro-particles per 10g of stool, researchers reported Tuesday at a gastroenterology congress in Vienna.

The researchers fear the plastic could also come from the packaging the food is contained in, or the techniques used to process or manufacture it.

Up to nine different kinds of plastics were detected, ranging in size from.002 to.02 inches. In addition, humans likely consume plastic that enters products from food processing systems.

"We know that they're in drinking water; we know that they're in different things that we eat and so it's no surprise that it is in our gut and then in our feces", Chelsea Rochman, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Toronto, told CTV News.

And they found them. Microbeads in commercial beauty products, for example, have recently been banned in the United Kingdom after it was discovered that they attract toxic pollutants, end up in the stomachs of wildlife and enter the human food chain.

In a small, first-of-its-kind study, researchers have found microplastics in stool samples from people around the world.

Inverse's Betuel notes that the presence of plastics in participants' stool suggests some particles are still hiding inside the body.

It's no news that the plastics contaminated the environment we all live into to a significant degree.

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