Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by Zoey Sky
The National Library of Medicine defines microplastics as pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm in size. Microplastics can be found in oceans, ocean seabeds, coastal waters, shorelines and the surface of the sea. They can even be found in food and water.
To limit your exposure to microplastics, take measures such as filtering the water you drink every day.
Microplastics can be found in items like skincare products, synthetic clothing fabric and toothpaste. Additionally, microplastics are formed when larger pieces of plastic break apart into minuscule beads.
Because microplastics aren’t removed by wastewater treatment after they’ve been washed down the drain, they eventually create problems in the environment. This is why scientists continue to find microplastics throughout the ocean and in marine life.
Microplastics absorb and release chemicals and harmful pollutants. Ingredients or toxic chemicals absorbed by plastics can also build up and pollute the environment.
Studies are ongoing to determine if humans can also be exposed to these pollutants by consuming contaminated seafood. (Related: Why are tiny microplastics such a big deal? Understanding the harmful side effects of exposure, ingestion.)
Past research suggests that plastics in the body may have the following negative effects:
A lot of plastic products often contain known toxins like bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and styrene. While the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Chemistry Council urge for the close regulation of these chemicals, they are still widely used to make different plastic products.
Follow the tips below to protect yourself and your loved ones from microplastic exposure.
Be mindful of the plastic waste you produce, filter the water you drink and consume more organic produce to limit your exposure to microplastics, which can negatively affect the environment and your health.