All told, the amount of PET was ten times higher in infants than in adults, while polycarbonate groups were significantly higher between the two groups. The researchers found tiny polymers in meconium, indicating that babies are born with plastic already in their system. This highlights previous lessons learned microplastics in human form and meconium.
What this means for human health — and, urgently, for the health of children — scientists are now rushing to find out. The various types of plastic can contain at least 10,000 different drugs, a quarter affecting people, according to recent research from researchers at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. These additives use all forms of plastic manufacturing, such as providing flexibility, additional strength, or protection against UV bombardment, which degrades the material. Microplastics can contain heavy metals such as lead, and it tends to do so accumulation heavy metals and other hazards as they fall into the environment. They also easily grow into viruses, bacteria, and fungi, many of which are present pathogens in humans.
Of particular concern is a group of drugs called endocrine drugs, or EDCs, which disrupt hormones and are linked to fertility, vascular, and metabolic disorders, such as obesity. The popular plastic product bisphenol A, or BPA, is one of the EDCs attached various cancers.
“We should be concerned because EDCs in microplastics have been shown to be linked to a number of adverse effects on human and animal studies,” said Jodi Flaws, a fertility toxicologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the 2020 learning from the Endocrine Society on plastics. (Did not participate in this study.) “Some microplastics contain chemicals that can disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system.”
Infants are at high risk for EDCs, as their body size depends on a healthy endocrine system. “I strongly believe that these drugs also affect age,” says Kannan. “This is a difficult time.”
This new study adds to the growing body of evidence that babies are exposed to microplastic. “It contains an interesting paper with some very alarming numbers,” says a microplastic researcher at the University of Strathclyde, who did not participate in the study. “We need to look at everything a child sees, not just his or her bottles and toys.”
Since infants go through microplastics in their feces, it means that the gut can absorb other tiny particles, such as the way we absorb nutrients from food. This is called translocation: Particularly small particles that pass through the walls of the intestine and deplete other organs, including the brain. Investigators are real showed this in carp by feeding small plastic particles, which pass through the intestines and into the head, resulting in brain damage that appears to be a behavioral problem: Compared to directing fish, people with microscopic particles in their intestines they were inactive and ate slowly.
But this happened with many nations, and other nations. Although scientists know that EDCs are bad news, they are still not aware of the amount of microplastic exposure that can cause physical problems. “We need more studies to confirm the quantity and types of chemicals in microplastics that cause side effects,” says Flaws.
In the meantime, microplastics researchers say you can reduce the exposure of children to microscopic particles. Do not prepare infant formula with hot water in a plastic bottle – use a glass bottle and transfer it to a plastic bag the next time it is hot. Wipe and sweep the floor to avoid microfibers. Avoid plastic coatings and containers if possible. Microplastics has damaged every part of our lives, so if you don’t remove them, you can reduce the size of your family.
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