Updated: September 30, 2021 6:23:12 pm
A new study has found that the average concentration of microplastics in a baby’s poop is 10 times higher than that present in adult stool. This plastic is called PET or polyethylene terephthalate, which is widely used in bottles and polyester textiles.
The findings suggest that babies could be exposed to higher levels of microplastics than adults, through actions like shoving toys or clothing in their mouths by which they may ingest tiny fibers or pieces of plastic. Apart from this, items such as sippy cups, food containers or baby bottles also shed pieces of PET, according to The Verge.
The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The researchers studied stool samples of six one-year-olds in New York City and three newborns’ very first poop. They compared it with samples from 10 adults in Albany, New York. “Our data provide baseline evidence for [microplastic] exposure doses in infants and adults and support the need for further studies with a larger sample size to corroborate and extend our findings,” the study read.
“Babies are exposed to high levels of plastics, something needs to be done. Early life stages are very vulnerable,” said Kurunthachalam Kannan, co-author and professor of environmental medicine and pediatrics at the New York University School of Medicine.
According to Kannan, there is evidence that microplastics in blood circulation could lead to inflammation and cell death, thereby impacting the immune system.
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