We Inhale Up to 7000 Microplastic Particles Daily, Finds Study

We Inhale Up to 7000 Microplastic Particles Daily, Finds Study

For many years, plastics have been used to make nearly everything that surrounds us. However, they escaped the confines of packaging and objects along the way and settled in the environment, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.

Microplastic particles are now so prevalent in everyday household items such as bedding, carpet, and soft toys made of synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon that we inhale up to 7,000 per day, according to a shocking study.

According to one recent study, people inhale up to 7,000 microplastic particles per day from clothing, toys, and furniture.

As per this new research, the average family may be breathing in 100 times more microplastics at home than previously thought.

According to a study conducted by Good Morning Britain (GMB) and experts from the University of Portsmouth, families are likely inhaling between 2,000 and 7,00 microplastic particles per day.

The study, led by the Portsmouth Hospitals Trust in the United Kingdom, used highly sensitive equipment to count tiny particles less than 10 microns in size — about one-tenth the width of a human hair. They discovered that synthetic materials such as bedding, carpet, and soft toys, as well as polyester and nylon, could be major contributors. 

Professor Anoop Chauhan, a respiratory specialist with Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, said that microplastics were dangerous because they did not degrade. 

"Having these particles in your body can cause stress and changes in metabolism, it can affect immunity, the ability to fight infections, it can affect your reproductive capacity and potentially it could be carcinogenic – causing cancer," Anoop explained.

The research was conducted at the home of a British journalist in Beckenham, south-east London. 

Dr. Fay Couceiro, the study's lead author and an environmental pollution expert, collected samples from Good Morning Britain reporter Michelle Morrison's home.

Michelle's eight-year-old daughter Millie and five-year-old son Benji were present when the samples were collected.

Mrs. Morrison discovered that plastics such as polyester and nylon were present in three-quarters of her wardrobe. Her son and daughter were asked to playfight with soft toys to simulate typical child behavior.

The researchers estimated that each member of the family inhaled between 2,000 and 7,000 microplastics per day.

According to the report, up to 28 plastic particles were found in children's bedrooms every minute, compared to two in the kitchen.

The researchers discovered that when children play with soft toys, the entire family is likely to inhale between 2,000 and 7,000 microplastics per day.

"I am astonished by the breathable levels of microplastics in each of our homes," Dr. Couceiro said, adding that "more work on this absolutely must be done."

Microplastics smaller than 10 microns in size, such as those measured in the new study, can float in the air, making them difficult to count.

Previous research has found microplastic particles in all parts of the body, including the brain, gut, and womb.

"To date, the bulk of research has centered around pollutants outside of the home such as car emissions, but as this initiative proves, it's essential we widen our focus on the dangers in our homes," Anoop explained.

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