We have literally drowned our planet in plastic – plastic debris can be found in the deepest of oceans, inside the bodies of marine animals, table salt, drinking water and so on. Unsurprisingly, microplastics have now found their way inside our bodies too.
A small study has detected microplastics in human excrement for the first time, raising larger questions about how the tiny particles can affect our health.
Plastic particles were found in all the stool samples of eight participants from Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the UK and Austria, researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria found. On average, 20 microplastic particles per 10g of stool were detected.
“This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut,” said lead researcher Philipp Schwabl. “Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases.”