According to research, PET microplastics have been discovered in more significant quantities in the feces of young children than in the feces of adults. Microplastic particles were found in newborns' first feces.
Toys, teething rings, and plastic bottles are all potential sources of contamination for young children. It's still not known whether or not ingesting microplastics has any adverse health consequences.
Microplastics are found everywhere, we consume them in our food and drink water, and they're even found in the dust we breathe.
A tiny amount of microplastic is eliminated in the feces, but most of it is found in our body's tissues and organs. Plastic particles seem to harm cells and cause inflammatory responses in the laboratory, but the long-term consequences of inhaling them remain unknown.
No one knew how much of burden children already carry. Plastic bottles are a potential source of exposure in prior research. New York University's Junjie Zhang headed a team that tested stool samples from three newborns, six one-year-old infants, and ten adults in the city for two kinds of microplastics: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC).
All Samples of Feces Contained Microplastics
As the study's authors note, microplastics were discovered in the feces of both young children and adults. There was evidence of microplastic in infants' feces as early as the first few days after birth, indicating that the kids had been exposed to the microscopic plastic particles while still in the womb.
PET microplastic was found in 36 micrograms per gram of dry weight in six feces samples from younger kids.
Compared to young children, PET microplastics were detected in 8 out of 10 stool samples taken from adults, with an average concentration of 2.6 microgrammes per grain of dry weight. At 78 nanograms per child, the level of polycarbonate in the feces was comparable across children and adults.
We must ask why even young children are exposed to such high amounts of microplastics. What's the story behind the plastic bag?
"The high microplastic contents in one-year-olds' feces may presumably be linked to the children's usage of numerous plastic items and putting them in their mouths, such as infant bottles, cups, spoons, teething rings, and plastic toys," the researchers stated.
Microplastic particles from meals are also present in children, just as they are in adults.
The researchers calculated the daily intake of microplastic based on the concentration in the participants' feces. Eighty-three micrograms per kilogram of PET and 0.86 micrograms of PC are consumed daily by one-year-old children; 5.8 micrograms of PET and 0.2 micrograms of PC are consumed daily by adults.
Since their findings are based on small samples, they must be confirmed in more extensive investigations. The inclusion of several kinds of plastic would therefore be possible.
Polypropylene (PP) is the most common plastic used in children's goods; therefore, the percentage of PP microplastics in children's feces may be much more significant than PET and PC, the researchers write.
To rule out distortions, Zhang and his colleagues neglected to look at the study's polypropylene content. Polypropylene was also used to make the children's feces sampled from full diapers.