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April 11, 2024

Majority of Meats Contain Microplastics, Study Reveals.

Middleton, Teresa N.
Researchers have found microplastics deep in lungs and in the bloodstream, findings that could spur more research into health consequences of the tiny specks.

   According to a study conducted by the University of Toronto, microplastic particles were found in 88% of beef, chicken, fish and other plant-based meat evaluated. Non-processed meats still contained microplastics although far less than more highly processed alternatives.The amount of microplastics observed did not change between meat brand or store.

     Based on the US adult yearly average of consumption of meat alone, the yearly consumption of microplastics by an adult is an estimated 11,000 microplastics minimum, and 3.8 million microplastics at a maximum per year. 

    According to ACS publications, microplastics can cause a multitude of adverse health effects, such as DNA damage, organ dysfunction, metabolic disorder, immune response, neurotoxicity, as well as reproductive and fetal developmental harm. In addition, new studies suggest that a variety of chronic diseases may also be related to microplastic exposure. 

   These findings are correlated to another study conducted back in March of 2022 by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in which scientists found microplastics in the blood of 17 out of 22 anonymous donors, who were otherwise healthy adults. According to the study, half of the samples retrieved from donors contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in drinking bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, a material used for packaging food and other products. 

    “Our study is the first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood – ​it’s a breakthrough result,” said Professor Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

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Ashton Young
Ashton Young, Staff Writer
Ashton Young is currently a sophomore at UHS, and this is his first year as Staff Writer on The Torch. He enjoys reading and visiting national or state parks. He appreciates and listens to all kinds of music and his favorite film is Reservoir Dogs.
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