Alert! We eat 52,000 plastic particles every year
They have been found on some of the world’s highest glaciers and at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches.
In the food chain
In this research, Canadian scientists 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.
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’.
They also added that the impact on human health of microplastic consumption was still not well understood. However microplastic particles smaller than 130 micrometres in diameter “have the potential to translocate into human tissues (and) trigger a localised immune response”.