Microplastics Are Everywhere - and That Likely Includes Your Poop

Microplastics have been found in products including bottled water

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that measure under 0.2 inches in length.

Speaking about the findings Dr Luiza Mirpuri, the organisation's medical adviser, said: "It will be catastrophic, not now but in the third generation because each time we have diseases, new diseases from new contaminants".

The first of its kind study led by Philipp Schwabl from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria has revealed that stool samples from eight individuals from around the world all contained microplastics, showing that they were harbouring these plastic particles in their gut.

To conduct the study, they selected volunteers from each country who kept food diaries for a week and provided stool samples. In a worrying warning sign for our health, they found all eight participants tested positive for microplastics in their stool samples, with nine separate types of plastic identified.

11 types of plastic were analysed and at least two among them-PET and polystyrene were found to be the most common types of plastics used in wrapping food items in India by the Global Alliance Against Incinerators (GAIA) and 10 other environmental groups in a study released earlier this year.

Unsafe microplastics - usually found in the soil, oceans, tap and bottled water - have now soiled our poop too. "We need further research to understand what this means for human health". These plastics have a wide range of uses, including plastic bottles.

A grey mullet is shown next to microplastic found in Hong Kong waters during a Greenpeace news conference in Hong Kong, China, on April 23, 2018. It is estimated that, through pollution, 2-5 % of all plastics produced end up in the seas. Scientists hope to expand their research to include more study subjects and yield more direct results.

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After the 26th United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG) in Vienna, the public learned a grim truth. While programmes like Blue Planet have vividly shown the devastating impact of plastic on wildlife, we don't yet know what effect it has on human health.' Louise Edge, Greenpeace UK's senior oceans campaigner, added: 'This is yet another shocking development that shows just how dramatically plastic is contaminating every aspect of our lives. Six from the seven ate seafood in the week prior to testing, and all of them ate or drank from plastic packaging. Yes, microplastic has now been found almost everywhere and in everything on earth, including human excrement.

The study tested stool samples from eight different healthy adults and found microplastics in every stool sample tested.

Although it is the first hard evidence that plastic enters the body, previous research has suggested it can be ingested through food, drink, cosmetics and even by breathing in city air.

"Significant amounts of plastic have been detected in tuna, lobster and shrimp", says the Belfast-based newspaper, which notes that food is also "likely to be contaminated with plastic as a result of processing or packaging".

So is all that plastic making us sick?

Others have noted that the microplastics are still too large to be absorbed into the body, but the chemical toxins the plastics absorb may leach out. The microplastics measured between 50 and 500 micrometers; for comparison, a single strand of human hair is about 100 micrometers thick.

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

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