Microplastics can cross placenta into unborn babies, study shows
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: January 16th, 2023
Microplastics have been found to cross the placenta into unborn babies, a shocking study reveals. Scientists warn it is impossible to stop children ingesting the tiny plastic particles as well as even smaller nanoplastics, which can be found almost everywhere. Microplastics have also been found in newborn children, the researchers add. Infants ingest microplastics from baby bottles, toys, textiles and food packaging. When microplastics end up in household dust, children can ingest them by playing and crawling on the floor. Microplastics contain other harmful chemicals as well as plastic, such as phthalates and metals added for colour, stabilisation or as a biocide. When microplastics end up outdoors, for example as particles from car tires, this plastic core is often coated with air pollution and car exhaust. Study author Kam Sripada from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said: “It’s quite possible that children are more exposed to microplastics than adults, similar to children’s greater exposure to many other environmental toxic chemicals. “No one knows exactly how much microplastic a child ingests, but several studies now suggest that today’s children absorb microplastics in their bodies as early as at fetal age. “Children do not have a fully developed immune system and are in a very important phase of their brain development. “This makes them particularly vulnerable. Nano and microplastics are so miniscule that they can travel deep into the lungs and can also cross into the placenta.”
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