Shocking new research has shown that babies have up to 15 times more microplastic in their bodies than adults.
This worrying new evidence will only add to fears that microplastic pollution has already got totally out of hand and will have serious effects for years to come, even if we begin to introduce measures to curb it right away.
In recent months, as part of our ongoing spotlight on the harmful industrial and natural chemicals that are playing havoc with our health, we’ve written about microplastics on a number of occasions.
Microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic that are either designed to be that size or become so through weathering – act as vectors for harmful xenoestrogens, as well as causing physical damage to organisms, especially microorganisms and juvenile organisms like baby fish.
The scale of the problem is already mind-boggling. Scientific models now suggest that microplastics are so ubiquitous that they are circulating like a ‘force of nature’, reaching the most remote places – even places humans have never set foot before.
Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine compared stool samples from newborns, infants and adults to ascertain concentrations of two different kinds of plastic in them. All of the subjects were from New York State.
The team were looking for two common kinds of microplastic, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC).
First of all, they noticed that all of the samples contained at least one of the two types of microplastic they were looking for. This shouldn’t be surprising, given what we already known about the ubiquity of these substances.