Cutting Down On Microplastics

Research shows tiny particles of plastic waste are everywhere...including our bodies...but there are ways to cut down on how much you ingest. NBC's Liz McLaughlin reports.

(NBC News) — From food containers, to electronics, to medical equipment…plastic is everywhere, including our bodies.

Some researchers estimate Americans are ingesting as much as five grams of plastic each week…the weight of a credit card.

“Right now the research into microplastics is new enough that we don’t know how harmful it is,” says Kevin Loria of Consumer Reports.

In a statement, the Plastics Industry Association said in part, that research has not shown “significant human health impacts from microplastics.”

However, plastics can sometimes contain harmful chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, including B.P.A and phthalates.

“They’ve been associated with developmental delays, kind of birth defects, various cancers,” Loria says.

Researchers have found microplastics in ice caps, the atmosphere, oceans and in wildlife.

“Basically, 100 percent of our patients have ingested plastic in some form,” says Dr. Justin Perrault of Florida’s Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Cleaning up dust may help reduce the amount of microplastics you inhale, especially if you’re stuck inside for long periods of time working from home and social distancing.

Experts also say it’s a good idea to avoid buying, storing and heating food in plastic, and to drink tap water when possible.

“There’s at least one study showing that bottled water has about double the microplastics level of tap water,” Loria adds.

Read more here.