Plastic and Human Health: Microplastics Are Everywhere

It’s astounding how so many items used in daily life are made of plastic.  From your toothbrush to utensils and tupperware, we are constantly surrounded.

Even though plastic has facilitated more convenience and cleanliness, its infiltration into our daily lives is posing a threat to the environment and our health. Many chemicals found in plastic, such as phthalates and BPA, are known endocrine disruptors. This, in particular, can adversely affect the development of the male reproductive system.

Plastic in Your Water

A recent study, however, is showing that it’s not just the chemicals in plastic that we need to be concerned about. Orb Media posted a detailed piece explaining the research done by the State  University of New York at Fredonia highlighting the amount of microplastics found in our drinking water.

They tested 250 bottles of water from 11 brands and discovered an average of 10.4 plastic particulars 0.10 millimeters in size in one liter of water. Far smaller particles were found in the hundreds, specifically 314.6 particles per liter.

“Sizes ranged from the width of a human hair down to the size of a red blood cell. Some bottles had thousands. A few effectively had no plastic at all.”

The Repercussions

What is the result of all these microplastics in our water? Scientists don’t really know. According to the European Food Safety Authority, 90 percent of microplastics will simply pass through your body. It’s that other 10 percent, however, that can be worrisome.

While some plastics can become lodged in the intestinal wall, others can pass through it and travel throughout the lymphatic system and be absorbed into the hepatic portal vein, “which carries blood from the intestines, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen to the liver.”

Their impact on the body is yet to seen. Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) will be launching an investigation into this very topic. Per BBC, the WHO’s investigation will be centered on the possible effect of a lifetime of eating and drinking plastic particles.

How to Avoid Plastic

Buy water bottled in glass. Scientists tested glass bottled water and found that it was contaminated to a much lesser degree. This is even in comparison to plastic bottled water of the same brand. This means that some of the contamination is coming from the bottle itself.

Filter your water. Some water filters are designed to remove microplastics. If you have the money to invest in that, go for it.

Reduce your plastic consumption. You can do this by using a stainless steel water bottle, buying glass Tupperware, and looking into more reusable products.
How are you reducing your plastic consumption?

Happy living,

TheWritingSol

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4 Comments

  1. A huge source of microplastics in the water come from washing clothes with synthetic fibers, not so much using plastic water bottles.
    Which is harder to fix.

    Like

    1. Such a great point. I’ve read about that as well, and I think there’s a filter that people can add to their washer to trap some of the plastic, but I’d have to read up on it again.

      Liked by 1 person

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