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October 20, 2020
by Amélie Bottollier-Depois
Bottle-fed babies can ingest more than a million microplastics every day, a new study found Monday highlighting the abundance of plastics in our food products
It’s increasingly evident that humans consume large numbers of tiny particles, formed when larger pieces of plastic break down, but very little is known about the health consequences
Irish researchers have studied the release rate of microplastics in 10 types of baby bottles or accessories made of polypropylene, the most commonly used plastic for food containers
During a 21-day testing period, the team found that the bottles released between 13 and 162 million plastic microparticles per liter
They then used this data to model the potential global exposure of infants to microplastics during bottle-feeding, based on national average breastfeeding rates.
They estimated that the bottle-fed baby could ingest 16 million plastic microparticles every day for the first 12 months of life
The authors of the research, published in the journal Nature Food, said that sterilization and exposure to high water temperatures had the greatest effect on the release of microplastics, dropping from 06 million particles per liter on average at 25 ° C to 55 million / liter at 95 ° C
The authors told AFP the aim of the research was to « not worry parents » about the potential health risks of bottled microplastics
« We have made it known, as strongly as possible, that we are unaware of the potential health risks to infants ingested with microplastics, » said the team at Trinity College Dublin
The authors noted that babies probably ingested the most plastic in developed countries – 23 million particles per day in North America and 26 million in Europe
They said the levels could easily be lowered by taking a few more steps, including rinsing the bottles with cold sterilized water and preparing the formula in a non-plastic container before filling the bottle. p>
Fay Couceiro, senior biogeochemistry researcher at the University of Portsmouth, said Monday’s research underlined « the urgency of studies on the impacts of microplastics on human health »
She said it was important not to be « alarmist » about bottle-feeding, which many parents prefer for a variety of reasons
« The risks of not sterilizing baby bottles or using hot water are well understood and very real, and these known risks of disease should outweigh those of microplastic production up to that their health risks are understood, « said Couceiro, who was not involved in the study
© 2020 AFP
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Microplastics, bottle, infant formula
News from the world – EN – Bottle-fed babies ingest « millions » of microplastics: study
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