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microplastics are deep inside humans.
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: December 08, 2018 04:06PM

bisphenols in 95 % U.S Population

Humans Are @#$%& Plastic, And No One’s Certain How Bad That Is

December 8, 2018

When Philipp Schwabl asked eight healthy people on four continents to take part in an experiment to see if plastic was present in their bodies, he had little idea what to expect.
The Medical University of Vienna researcher, who specializes in stomach disorders, asked them to keep a food diary for a week and record whether they had drunk water from plastic bottles, what brands of toothpaste and cosmetics they had used, and whether they had chewed gum. None were vegetarian, all had consumed plastic-wrapped food and most had consumed fish.
They were then asked to send a piece of their stool to an Austrian government laboratory where it was tested to identify barely visible microplastic particles, which are smaller than 5 millimeters long.
The study, published in August, confirmed for the first time that microplastics are deep inside humans. All eight volunteers were found to have particles of most of the nine most common classes of plastics, including polypropylene and PET. On average, Schwabl found 20 particles per 10 grams of stool.
“I did not think all the samples would be positive,” Schwabl said. “There is data on microplastics being present in shrimps, fish, oysters and mussels, but there was a question over whether they were present in humans. It is highly likely that during various steps of food processing or as a result of packaging, food is being contaminated with plastics.”

“The smallest particles are capable of entering the bloodstream, the lymphatic system and may even reach the liver,” he added. “We need further research to understand what this may mean for human health.”
A clutch of studies looking at large plastic fragments in oceans has recently shown the world’s most ubiquitous material to be present from the poles to the equator and to be a growing environmental hazard. Plastic in marine environments is now widely recognized to be a threat to many marine species.
The new awareness of plastic pollution is leading scientists to ask afresh how much the human body is being polluted.

Global plastic production has increased from 16.5 million tons a year in the 1960s to over 364 million tons a year now and is expected to triple by 2050.
Studies have found plastic fibers and fragments present throughout the food chain, in plankton and fish larvae, bottled and tap water, seafoods, honey and salt.

One analysis of 259 water bottles from 19 places in nine countries found an average of 325 plastic particles in every liter of water. One widely sold brand had concentrations of about 10,000 particles per liter, and only 17 of the 259 bottles contained water that was free of plastic.
Other research has shown plastic particles shed from degrading car tires present in the air we breathe in the street, in homes from the washing of synthetic clothes, and in the soil via sludge from water treatment works that is used as a fertilizer.
With global plastic production increasing from 16.5 million tons a year in the 1960s to over 364 million tons a year now and expected to triple by 2050, research is needed to gauge what effect growing human exposure to it may be having, say scientists.
“Plastic is non-degradable. It cannot be broken down and has the potential to persist in our bodies for a lifetime after exposure,” said Stephanie Wright, a researcher at University College London who specializes in microscopic plastic pollution.
Concern is growing that many man-made chemicals added to consumer plastics to give them qualities like stiffness or transparency may contain hormone-altering chemicals that have barely been tested. According to one study, detectable levels of bisphenol A, one of a group of toxic chemicals, have been found in the urine of 95 percent of the adult population of the U.S.
People working in the textile industry have been shown to develop lung disease after exposure to nylon (plastic) flock, said Wright. “Continuous daily interaction with plastic allows oral, dermal [skin] and inhalation exposure to chemical components. The potential for microplastics and nanoplastics so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye to cause harm to human health remains understudied,” she said.
Michael Warhurst, director of European chemical watchdog group CHEM Trust, has, with academics, identified over 4,000 chemicals potentially present in plastic packaging, of which 63 have been identified as dangerous to human health because of their potential to disrupt hormones.

japatino via Getty Images
One analysis of 259 water bottles from 19 places in nine countries found an average of 325 plastic particles in every liter of water.
“Many chemicals used in plastics have not been tested for their endocrine-disrupting effects,” Warhurst said. “Current test methods are not very good at identifying all of them.”
Some of the most common are bisphenols and phthalates, used in everything from food packaging and toys to floor tiles and water bottles. They have been connected to childhood obesity, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and even cancers.
Many countries have either banned bisphenol A or advised that it may be dangerous to children. The United States’ National Toxicology Program has “some concern” for bisphenol A’s effect on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children. It is still used widely in Europe.
But other bisphenols and phthalates are not banned and are used frequently in the production of consumer goods. Many, said Warhurst, may be similar or even more toxic than those banned.
“A lot of chemicals are very similar to known endocrine disruptors. When one gets banned, there are others behind it. Chemical companies are required to provide data but it’s not always comprehensive. There is no strict enforcement and companies can bring chemicals onto the market easily. More research is needed and much better control,” he said.
Other scientists have said the danger to human health, if any, may be in the smallest pieces, or nanoplastics. “Microplastics will not enter a cell, but nanoplastics are small enough to cross into cells and permeate the body,” said Anne Marie Mahon, a researcher at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland. Her recent research found sludge in water treatment works full of microparticles.
“It’s possible that chemicals could be absorbed in our circulatory system or pass into our organs. But whether that is happening is unknown,” Mahon said.
In sufficient concentrations, chemicals can injure and kill cells in the human body, said Frank Kelly, chair of environmental health at King’s College London and one of Britain’s leading authorities on air pollution. He wrote with Stephanie Wright: “The cells may be replaced successfully or they may not. If inhaled or ingested, microplastics may accumulate and exert localized toxicity by inducing an immune response. ”
Their research is backed by Philipp Schwabl in Austria. “In animals, some microparticles have been found in the liver and embedded in tissue,” he said. “Depending on the amount, this could cause immune reactions. It’s possible that the minutest particles are in the human blood and tissue but it’s very hard to measure and we cannot prove it yet.”
“We urgently need more research,” he added.

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Re: microplastics are deep inside humans.
Posted by: Tai ()
Date: December 08, 2018 10:16PM

Yes it's frightening.

Some years ago, i was doing some detoxing and i tasted plastic getting pulled out of my mouth.

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Re: microplastics are deep inside humans.
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: December 09, 2018 04:58AM

This Trump govt has full on blinders ready to sell the earth out,
Trump Govt on path to extinction. He is rollig back all the gains from decades
now ants to scrap Clean Water Act, The republicans and Trump seem to have a deep hatred for our Earth what a sick Cult, I hope Mueller will help put this lunatic Cult to bed for the sake of our earth and our childrens future

International edition
The Guardian app

Invisible plastic Guardian sustainable business
Invisible plastic: microfibers are just the beginning of what we don’t see
Mary Catherine O'Connor
The tiny pollutants in our clothes are forcing us to look harder for, and think more carefully about, the ways humans have shaped the environment

Every time we wash our clothing the synthetic fibers the are comprised of leach into our waterways, rivers and oceans. Photograph: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images
pening my washing machine at the end of a cycle is not something that generally fills me with excitement. But today it did, because doing so – I thought – would finally allow me to see and touch something I’ve been reporting on for years: synthetic microfiber pollution from apparel.

Will clothes companies do the right thing to reduce microfiber pollution?
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Instead, it illuminated something I already knew: my dog sheds a lot.
Multiple studies have shown synthetic fibers to make up the lion’s share of microplastics found in oceans, rivers and lakes, and clothes made from synthetics (polyester, nylon, and so on) are widely implicated as the source of that pollution. Microfibers, as the name implies, are tiny, so they can easily move through sewage treatment plants. Unlike natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, synthetic fibers do not biodegrade, and tend to bind with molecules of harmful chemical pollutants found in wastewater, such as pesticides or flame retardants. Studies have shown health problems among plankton and other small organisms that eat microfibers, which then make their way up the food chain. Researchers have found high numbers of fibers inside fish and shellfish sold at markets.
But I had recently received the Guppy Friend, a fiber-catching laundry bag made of a very fine nylon mesh developed by Alexander Nolte and Oliver Spies, surfing buddies and co-owners of Langbrett, a German retailer that sells outdoor apparel. The bag is designed to reduce the amount of fiber shed by garments in the wash and catch those that are shed. So, I was excited because this bag is supposed to make this invisible pollution visible.



Microfibers from Mary Catherine O’Connor’s Guppy Friend – a laundry bag aims to stop synthetic fibers leaching into our water supply

I was relieved that my 15-year-old fleece jacket and month-old nylon leggings did not fill the bag with a mass of lint. But when I also discovered that only a teeny bit of fiber (and a lot of dog hair, each strand likely bigger than the microfibers found in waterways) in the bag after washing a bright blue Snuggie (hey, it was a gift), I became dubious about how effectively this device captures fibers.
When I then dried the Snuggie (after removing it from the bag, which is used only in the washer) and pulled gobs of blue lint from the dryer trap, I felt those doubts were vindicated. The makers of Guppy Friend, however, tell me I should not compare the amount of fibers shed from items inside the bag, which they say is designed to reduce fiber loss, with that from the same items inside dryer. Either way, we need more than stop-gap measures such as Guppy Friend to prevent microfiber shedding. For that, apparel makers need to rethink textile production.
Many people, myself included, feel overwhelmed and occasionally terrified by the impacts of climate change. Dying and dead coral reef systems. Sea-level rise. Collapsing fisheries. It’s bad enough that plastic pollution is only adding to human-induced pressures on the oceans, but at least each consumer has the power to avoid single-use plastics, straws, and products that contain microbeads. Eliminating all synthetics from our wardrobes is a Herculean effort.

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Plus, clothing is intimate and nostalgic. I hang on to torn and frayed polypropylene base-layers because my memories of harrowing and awesome adventures are woven into them. I wear a ratty poly-blend sweatshirt I consider an heirloom. And when I wash these things, tiny fibers I can’t see are jettisoned toward the sea. Some probably make it all the way there.
Of course, scientists have really only started pulling on threads here – we have yet to understand how much harm these fibers cause in aquatic environments, nor what they might mean for human health. We know a great deal more about truly invisible pollutants, however.
Take perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). These have been used widely in manufacturing – including in textile manufacturing. Two of the most widely studied PFCs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), have been linked in epidemiological studies to multiple types of cancer in humans and other health impacts. PFCs are so ubiquitous they’ve been detected in the blood of polar bears. And a new study found PFC pollution in the tap water supplies used by 15 million Americans in 27 states.
So, while scientists think the synthetic fibers shed from apparel are an environmental threat, they know that chemicals long used in apparel manufacturing are. That might cast those tiny fibers in a rather benign light, but that’s not what scientists I’ve interviewed think.
Peter Ross, a senior scientist at the Vancouver Aquarium, has studied ocean pollution for 30 years, and is now launching a study to develop a protocol for tracing synthetic fibers found in the ocean back to their specific sources. He told me microfibers, and microplastics in general, play an important role in communicating environmental impacts: they are a kind of bridge between the very tangible and the utterly intangible.
Because they are hard to see, these tiny pollutants make us look harder for, and think more about, the ways humans have shaped the environment.
This article was amended on 4 July 2017 to clarify information about the Guppy Friend. An earlier version implied the amount of fibers shed from a garment in the dryer should be comparable to the amount shed and captured by the Guppy Friend bag in the wash. The Guppy Friend aims to reduce the amount of fibers shed in the wash, and is not for use in a dryer. As such, it is not a fair comparison.

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Re: microplastics are deep inside humans.
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: December 09, 2018 05:08AM

“It really is a great shame that many or even all of the world’s sea turtles have now ingested microplastics.” The most common materials found inside the turtles were pieces of tires, marine equipment, cigarettes, and clothing.

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