Taking into account the pollution we breathe in, that figure rose to 121,000 particles — equivalent to over 320 particles every day

A new study says that humans eat and breathe in tens of thousands of microplastic particles every year. Canadian scientists’ analysis has posed new dynamics of the impact of plastic waste on our health.
Microplastics — tiny plastic shards broken down from man-made products such as synthetic clothing, car tyres and contact lenses — are among the most ubiquitous materials on the planet.

They have been found on some of the world’s highest glaciers and at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches.

Several previous studies have shown how microplastics may enter the human food chain, including one last year that found them in nearly all major bottled water brands sampled.

The scientists have analysed hundreds of data sets on microplastic contamination and compared them to the typical diet and consumption habits of Americans. They found that an adult male could expect to ingest up to 52,000 microplastic particles each year.

Taking into account the pollution we breathe in, that figure rose to 121,000 particles — equivalent to over 320 particles every day.

The study coincided with the UN’s World Environment Day, the theme of which this year is air pollution.


An additional 90,000 particles could be ingested each year if an individual only drank bottled water, according to the study, published in the journal ‘Environmental Science and Technology’.

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