Are You Drinking Microplastics?
Recently, we came a cross an article from the Texas Medical Center by Alexandra Becker regarding the impact of Microplastics invading our food and water sources. Plastic pollution is not just an environmental eye sore, it's polluting our bodies and the impact could be devastating. Here is a snippet of the article with a link to read on.
Microplastics are everywhere. These tiny fragments of synthetic debris, ranging in size from 5 millimeters to microscopic, have been found in oceans and rivers, fish and shellfish, tap water, beer and sea salt. And that’s only where researchers have looked.
As a result, humans are eating and drinking microplastics, which has scientists concerned about the long-term effects on the human body.
Michael Mancini, Ph.D., a professor of molecular and cellular biology at Baylor College of Medicine, says microplastics can leech the chemicals that make plastic so hardy in the first place—including phthalates and bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA. Both are believed to be potentially harmful to human health, and we all risk exposure to these chemicals when we drink out of plastic bottles or heat food in plastic containers.
“If those microplastics contain the endocrine disruptors that we and other researchers have been studying for some time now, then getting them into your body is going to have the same effect as any other route of entry,” Mancini said “I wouldn’t recommend dining on that kind of stuff, especially for anyone younger than adolescence, since early, low-dose, long-term exposure to endocrine disruptors seems to be the most harmful.”
In animal studies, phthalates and BPA were both observed to act as endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the hormonal system and cause birth defects, tumors and other developmental disorders. Mancini said that through epigenetics—heritable changes that do not involve alterations to the DNA sequence itself—the effects of these endocrine disruptors can be passed down to subsequent generations.
In other words, it may be too late to avoid the harmful effects of microplastics—or to protect our children and their children from them.
“It’s a lot,” Mancini conceded. “The epigenetics are really the problem, because it just doesn’t go away. At least in animals.”
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