Microplastics in babies’ poop are higher than in adults’, according to a new study.
Humans are frequently exposed to microplastics without even realizing it, and it turns out that even babies aren’t immune. According to a study, they may be more exposed to microplastics than adults.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), microplastics (MP) are small bits of plastic that are less than five millimeters long, or about the size of a sesame seed. They could come from a variety of places, including larger pieces of plastic that breakdown into smaller pieces, or microbeads found in toothpaste and other beauty products.
The researchers of a new study published Wednesday in Environmental Science and Technology Letters called human exposure to microplastics and its potential health impacts a “global concern.” Researchers discovered in 2020 that babies who are bottle-fed consume almost a million microplastic bits each day.
The researchers wanted to know how much polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC) microplastics were in the feces of six newborns and ten people from New York State, as well as how much was in three samples of meconium or a newborn’s first stool. PET and PC are two typical microplastics, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the researchers examined the samples using mass spectrometry.
Surprisingly, all of the samples included “at least one form of microplastic,” according to the ACS. While the researchers discovered that the average levels of fecal PC microplastics in adults’ and infants’ feces were equal, the PET concentrations in the babies’ stool were 10 times greater on average than in adult faeces. Microplastics made of PET and PC were also discovered in “some” meconium samples.
The researchers said, “The estimated mean daily exposures to PET and PC MPs from the food of newborns were 83,000 and 860 ng/kg body weight per day, respectively, which were significantly greater than those of adults (PET: 5800 ng/kg-bw/day; PC: 200 ng/kg-bw/d).” “Our findings imply that newborns are more exposed to MPs than adults.”
According to ACS, this could be due to the “extensive use” of goods such baby bottles, toys, and teethers. However, “to validate these findings,” further and larger investigations are required.
Microplastics and their entire impact are still unknown, according to the NOAA, which describes it as a “emerging field of study.”
The same can be said for its potential health. Brief News from Washington Newsday.