Study finds microplastics in human excrement in Europe, Russia and Japan

Signal of change / Study finds microplastics in human excrement in Europe, Russia and Japan

By Jordan McKay / 24 Jan 2019

According to researchers from the Environment Agency Austria, microplastics have been found in human stools for the first time.  The study showed that all 8 of the participants from Russia, Europe, and Japan had microplastics in their excrement.  Although admittedly small in size, the study could indicate widespread plastic particles in the food chain, say researchers.

 

So what?

Stool samples from the study contained up to 9 different plastic types ranging from 50 to 500 micrometres.  The samples were found in human excrement, but scientists explained that the smaller particles, “...are capable of entering the bloodstream, the lymphatic system, and may even reach the liver.”  This poses two important questions:

  • What effect does this amount of plastic in our food systems and bodies have?
  • Could the troubling image of plastic in our bodies be enough to end plastic pollution and even widespread consumer plastics?

 

Read more about plastics here

 

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/22/microplastics-found-in-human-stools-for-the-first-time



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What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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