People are pooping plastic, new study shows

Significant amounts of plastic have been detected in tuna during previous studies. File pic

Significant amounts of plastic have been detected in tuna during previous studies. File pic

A study was done in 8 countries.

"The solutions to plastic pollution, while they're big and daunting, we know what they are and they're not that hard", she said.

Austrian researchers have found evidence that tiny plastic particles - or microplastics - can be found in human feces.

"Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases", Schwabl said. "We need further research to understand what this means for human health".

A previous study posted on orbmedia.org earlier this year tested 259 bottles of water from 11 brands across nine countries and discovered that 93 percent of the bottled waters contained microplastic contamination.

"The studies in animals, for example, have shown that they may be slightly toxic to the liver, they may possibly increase certain chemicals that aren't great for your brain and it may increase the proliferation of cancer cells, but these have only been done in studies following animals and test-tube studies of human cells", he said.

It was once thought the risk to health was largely limited to eating marine creatures from oceans polluted with plastic. But a new pilot study detailed at yesterday's United European Gastroenterology meeting adds a somewhat surprising hiding place to the list: human stool.

One of the components included two different types of plastic - polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They dug through the poop of a group of participants from countries around the globe, including Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Austria.

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) - There's a good chance a dose of tiny plastic particles has taken up residence in your gut, a new, small study argues. They also noted that the particles could weaken the immune response of the gut. But animal studies have shown they can carry and deliver pollutants into our bodies.

As part of the study, participants kept food diaries which were studied to figure out how the substances entered their bodies.

"Most participants drank liquids from plastic bottles, but also fish and seafood ingestion was common", he said. Six of them had eaten fish. As many as nine different plastics, ranging between 50 and 500 micrometers in size, were detected.

The research team found an average of 20 microplastic particles in every 10 grams of faeces.

But only 20% of plastic is recycled, National Geographic reported, and people continue to buy a global average of almost 1 million plastic bottles per minute. Significant amounts of microplastic have already been detected in tuna, lobster and shrimp.

As Laura Parker writes for National Geographic, the test subjects' food diaries offer a thorough list of potential plastic culprits.

Seawater samples collected throughout a 45,000 mile journey on the Volvo Ocean race round-the-world sailing event have revealed traces of microplastics nearly everywhere, including in the remotest waters in the Southern Ocean. Founder of a British Organic food company Guy Singh-Watson told BBC news that the public's tunnel vision over recycling could even be risky.

It's too soon to tell whether these plastic particles could harm people, Schwabl and other experts said.

Currently, it's unclear what effect microplastics have on human health.

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