Environmental Chemistry

we swallow 5 gram plastic a week

Bottled water, seafood and salt on frontline


We swallow 5gram plastic a week

Human ingestion and inhalation of plastic particles has been proven, but for the first time researchers have been able to accurately quantify the extent of the phenomenon. And that’s not really reassuring …

An average person could ingest up to 5 grams of plastic each week, the weight of a credit card, according to a report commissioned by the WWF at Newcastle University (Australia), and published Tuesday.

According to these results, a compilation of 50 studies conducted on human ingestion of plastics, each man would swallow about 2,000 microparts and particles each week, or some 250 grams annually.

Studies have previously shown that humans ingest and breathe a swarm of plastic particles each year, but the challenge for Australian researchers was to weigh their weight.

”  As awareness grows about the existence of microplastics and their impact on the environment , this study provides for the first time an accurate calculation of intake rates ,” said Thava Palanisami, a university professor. from Newcastle. This will  help identify potential toxicological risks for humans  . “

Bottled water, seafood,beer and salt on the front linesea food

First source of this ingurgitated plastic , water, especially if it is bottled. Of the other consumer products analyzed, seafood, beer and salt contain the highest rate.

According to a Canadian study published on June 5, based on the lifestyle of an average American, an adult ingests up to 52,000 microparticles of plastic a year, to which are added 90,000 additional if he drinks only water. bottle (and 4.000 if it is satisfied with tap water).

And if we take into account the air pollution , and therefore the inhalation , this figure increases to 121,000 – these estimates vary individually according to the mode and the place of life, Environmental Science and Technology .

For WWF, ”  it’s a wake-up call for governments: plastics do not just pollute our rivers and oceans , they do not just kill marine life, but they are in all of us,  ” says Marco.

Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, in a statement . ”  While research is studying the potential negative effects of plastic on human health, it is clear that it is a global problem that can be solved only if we tackle the roots of pollution: if we do not want of plastic in our body, we must stop the millions of tons that continue to fail in nature every year,  “he added.

He called for action at the level of governments, businesses, consumers “ and to find  ” a global treaty  “against ocean pollution, with national goals.

Microplastics, coming from the degradation of products as diverse as synthetic garments, tires , contact lenses …, are now found everywhere on the planet, on the highest glaciers as in marine faults .

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