Published: Fri, October 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Scientists discovered plastic in the human body

Scientists discovered plastic in the human body

Tiny pieces of plastic measuring less than five millimeters in length-or roughly the size of a sesame seed-have become a almost ubiquitous presence in our world.

The research was conducted by the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria.

A new study that tested stool samples of eight individuals from countries across the globe, including Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Russian Federation, revealed evidence of microplastics in every sample tested.

Five women and three men-aged 33 to 65 and living in Finland, the Netherlands, the UK, Italy, Poland, Russia, Japan, and Austria-kept a nutrition diary for one week, then provided a stool sample. The most common ones were those found in food and drink packaging.

Though it will take more than 1,000 years for most of these items to degrade, many will soon break apart into tiny shards known as microplastics, trillions of which have been showing up in the oceans, fish, tap water and even table salt.

"Personally, I did not expect that each sample would.[test]. positive", says lead researcher Dr. Philipp Schwabl of the Medical University of Vienna.

Much more research is needed, he said, before we can determine the origin of plastics found in the gut, and especially whether they are harmful.

DESIREE MARTIN via Getty Images Microplastic particles have been found in human waste for the first time. The U.N. estimates that about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans every year.

But experts have urged caution given the small size of the study and highlighted that it can not be stated with certainty that the microplastics came from people's diets.

The findings were presented Monday at the United European Gastroenterology annual meeting in Vienna.

Ingesting them can damage lungs, poison kidneys, interfere with hormones and even travel across a mother's placenta, research has shown.

None of the participants in the study were vegetarians and six of them ate fish.

An global study has discovered tiny particles of plastic in every human subjected to testing.

Scientists have found microplastics in human stools for the first time, suggesting they may be widespread in our food chain.

"What is unknown is whether the concentration of plastic being ingested is higher than that coming out, due to particles crossing the gut wall", she said.

It's now virtually impossible to remove these plastics from the food chain, but many governments are seeking to limit plastic use by consumers or the production of microplastics themselves.

The scientists studied eight people from across the world, examining their stool samples for the presence of microplastics.

Schwable explained that this pilot study proved that plastics are found in stool across the globe and now they are planning larger studies with greater number of participants.

Up to nine different kinds of plastics were detected, ranging in size from.002 to.02 inches. Now we are literally eating our own trash. Therefore, it is likely that the amount of plastic contamination may rise further if mankind does not change the current situation.' Friends of the Earth's head of policy Mike Childs said: 'This is further disturbing evidence of how pervasive plastics are in our environment.

"In the worst case, all the plastic they found is from the lab", Wagner told The Associated Press.

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