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Tips to Avoid Eating Microplastics

Microplastics are found everywhere. Every body of water, deserted beaches, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and even inside of us. While we may not be eating a credit card’s worth a day, we can all agree the less we ingest the better. Here are some ideas from Plaine Products to help you avoid eating microplastics.

 

Avoid Plastic Bottled Water

As this infographic from Statisa.com shows, the biggest known source of microplastic which enters our bodies is bottled water. Based on 4 separate studies, the average number of particles per liter is 94. Carrying a reusable glass or metal water bottle is the best for hydration on the go.

While switching over to tap water will reduce your exposure to plastics, research has found microplastics there too. To help minimize that risk, the NY Times has a list of water filter picks that are certified to reduce microplastics. Which means they’ve been rigorously tested in an accredited lab. They’re certified only to reduce since the filters cannot guarantee total elimination. Their picks include under-sink filters, such as the Aquasana AQ-5200, and the Brita Elite, a pitcher filter.

 

Tips in the Kitchen to Avoid Eating Microplastics

While much of our food storage these days is in plastic, it’s best to switch to glass for cooking and reheating food. Extreme temperatures can cause plastic to break down and be more likely to end up in our food. To avoid this:

  • Don’t microwave or cook in plastic containers
  • Wash plastic by hand instead of putting it in the dishwasher
  • Use bamboo or metal cooking utensils
  • Use bamboo or glass cutting boards

Some research suggests that plastic cutting boards can be a significant source of microplastics in your diet since repeated cutting on their surface can dislodge particles that stick to food. Wood cutting boards also have some other advantages: They’re better for your knife blades and last longer than plastic when properly maintained.

 

Health Concerns about Microplastic

To date, most of the concerns for human health has focused on additives, like phthalates, BPAs, and PFAs in the plastics, but not the plastics themselves. However new studies have found that in certain small marine species, microplastics have been shown to reduce growth, hinder reproduction, and shorten the lifespan. According to The Conversation, laboratory toxicology experiments, particularly among mammals, are few, but they have shown that high doses of microplastics adversely impacted liver function, altered metabolism and other important biological reactions in mice, and tended to gather in certain tissues in a manner that was related to the size of the particles.

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