Baby poo stuffed with microplastics

Researchers have found that there are more microplastics in the stool of children than in adults. With any effect on their health?

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It’s a disturbing study reported by Slate. This, conducted by researchers at New York University School of Medicine, reveals that children’s stools contain ten times more plastic particles than adults’ stools. The proportion of scientists worry deeply about the growth of newborns. The latter can actually be affected by endocrine disruptors, chemicals that alter the hormonal system, sometimes to the point of promoting the onset of cancer.

To reach such a conclusion, the researchers focused on two types of plastic: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate. They purposely excluded polypropylene, a plastic used in diapers, to make sure the results were only on what comes from infants’ intestines. By analyzing the stools of six one-year-olds, three newborns, and ten adults, they found that polycarbonate levels were equal between the groups. On the other hand, with regard to PET, levels in children average 36,000 nanograms per gram of stool, which is ten times more than in adults. Small amounts are also found in newborns, indicating that they are born with plastics present in their bodies.

Where do these molecules come from?

But how did so much microplastics end up there? In fact, this finding is not surprising since children are surrounded by plastic, from bottles to toys, clothes, diapers, and food. Especially since children have an annoying tendency to put everything in their mouths.

« Unfortunately, with the modern lifestyle, children are exposed to so many different things that we don’t know what kind of effects can happen to them later in life. “Fears Kurunthachalam Kannan, an environmental health scientist at New York University School of Medicine and co-author of the study. Infants are especially vulnerable to endocrine disruptions because their body development depends on a healthy endocrine system.” I firmly believe that these chemicals affect the early stages of life Canaan says. ” It’s a weak time. »

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Since babies excrete microplastics in their stools, this means that some of these particles can be absorbed through the intestines as they absorb nutrients from food. This is called intestinal transit: particularly small particles can cross the intestinal wall and settle in other organs such as the brain. Researchers have shown it in carp, but at higher concentration levels … and in completely different species.

To put an end to random speculation, scientists will now look at the true effects of these microplastics in the children’s body in order to more accurately determine the health risks.

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