Microplastics found in the human track and stools
Microplastics have been found in human stools for the first time, suggesting the tiny particles may be widespread in food. The study by researchers in Austria examined eight participants (from the UK, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Japan and Russia). All of their stool samples were found to contain microplastic particles.
Up to nine different plastics were found, out of 10 varieties tested for. Polypropylene used in packaging, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in plastic bottles, were most commonly found.
Diaries kept by each participant in the week before the stool tests showed they were all exposed to plastic by consuming plastic-wrapped food or drinking from plastic bottles. Microplastics are defined as particles of less than 5mm, with some created for use in products such as cosmetics but also by the breaking down of larger pieces of plastic, often in the sea.