You could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in microplastics every week.
Yes, you read that right.
A study published in July by the University of Newcastle, in Australia, suggests that people eat at least five grams of microplastics every seven days. These tiny particles make their way into our food, drinks and even the air. They have been found in drinking water, beer, shellfish and salt.
Although microplastics have been around for decades, as recently as 2012, this issue was still relatively unknown.
FIU Ph.D. student and researcher Melinda Paduani explained that microplastics measure less than five millimeters in length. They can originate from a variety of sources, including clothes, some kinds of toothpaste, makeup and chunks of plastic that gradually break into smaller pieces when they’re thrown away and exposed to the elements.
Since the health risks of microplastics are part of a new field of study, the long-term effects on human health are unclear.