The Environment Agency Austria teamed up with a team of researchers from the Medical University of Vienna in order to test the relationship between plastic and ourselves. Specifically, the scientists took stool samples from eight unrelated people from across the world and tested it for the presence of microplastics.Worryingly, not one or two, but all eight of the participants tested positive for having microplastic in their faeces, confirming scientist’s concerns that the material has, in fact, completely entered our foodchain. As for what this means, studies have shown that the plastic particles small enough to class as microplastics – less than 5mm in size – do affect human health by accumulating in the gut and consequently depositing toxic chemicals.

However, that may not be our biggest concern, in fact, the lead researcher of the project, Dr. Philipp Schwabl, stated that “While the highest plastic concentrations in animal studies have been found in the gut, the smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the bloodstream, lymphatic system and may even reach the liver.”

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