WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Humans are ingesting plastics from food, drinks and even air due to the growing problem of plastic pollution.
- A new study conducted to assess the ingestion rates of plastics reveals that people eat roughly 5 grams of microplastics every week — about the weight of a credit card.
- The study was performed by researchers at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund.
Plastic trash is everywhere on earth, from mountains to oceans. Now, it’s in us too.
A study, done by a team of researchers from the University of Newcastle in Australia led by Marco Lambertini of the World Wildlife Fund, found that “humans are consuming plastics.” That’s in addition to the destruction plastics cause to our oceans and waterways, not to mention, marine life death. We are swallowing and breathing in about 2,000 “microplastics” equivalent to the weight of one credit card every week.
According to CNN, “microplastics”–particles smaller than five millimeters–are mixed in our food, water and even air. They are also found in other foods like shellfish and salt, and sadly for beer-lovers, in their favorite beverage.
Project co-lead Thava Palanisami believed that for the first time, ingestion of microplastics is being calculated accurately with the help of the study.
It was not well-documented yet how ingestion of plastics affects our body in the long term, but further studies are being done to better understand the effects of plastic on our health.
“There is a very large uncertainty about the harm that plastics do,” said Richar Lampitt of United Kingdom’s National Oceanography Center. Though he is not involved in the research, he pointed out that the significance of ingestion rates is hard to measure without understanding the health risks associated with it.
The study discovers that from 1950 to 2016, half of all the plastics produced occurred in 2000. Meaning, plastic pollution is a growing problem regardless of its harmful effects.
“These findings must serve as a wake-up call to governments. Global action is urgent and essential to tackling this crisis.” Lambertini added.
The study titled “No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion From Nature to People” did not appear in a peer-reviewed science journal.
Source: USA Today