Today there are many people who reduce the use of plastic because they are aware of the dangers to the environment and health. Even without you realizing it, in the food there are small pieces of plastic which of course have a negative impact on health. This small piece of plastic is called microplastic. So, how can microplastic be in food? What are the dangers of microplastic for health?
What is microplastic?
Microscopy is plastic that is less than 0.2 inches or 5 millimeters, which is found in the environment and is difficult to decompose.
Mycroplastic is commonly found in sea, river, soil, and is often consumed by animals. A number of studies in the 1970s began investigating microplastic levels in the oceans and found high levels in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the United States.
Today, more and more plastic is used in the world so that more and more plastic is polluting rivers and oceans. It is estimated that 8.8 million tons of plastic waste goes into the sea every year. While 276,000 of this plastic waste floated in the sea, and others sank or were stranded.
Then, how can microplastic be in food?
Microscopy is a material that can cause pollution and pollute the environment. At present, these ingredients are increasingly found in various environments, including in food.
Some studies say that in some brands of sea salt and honey there are quite a number of microplastic particles. In addition, the abundance of microplastic found in the sea, makes seafood the most common microplastic source in food.
Polluted microscopy in seawater is a living place for fish and other marine organisms, especially shells and oysters. Both marine organisms have the highest risk of microplastic pollution compared to other marine organisms.
Plastic particles in these marine habitats can be ingested by fish and cause toxic chemicals to accumulate in the fish liver.
A study found that shellfish and oysters consumed by humans have 0.36-0.47 microplastic particles per gram, which means that shellfish consumers can swallow up to 11,000 microplastic particles per year.
In addition, other studies have also found that microplastic even exists in the deepest marine organisms. This shows that even microplastic affects even the most remote marine organisms.
Be careful, microplastic hazards in food
Although a number of studies have shown that there are microplastics in food, it is still unclear what the dangers of micropastics are for health.
So far, very few studies have examined how microplastics in food affect health and cause disease in humans.
Phthalates, a type of chemical used to make flexible plastic, have been shown to increase breast cancer cell growth. However, this research has not been carried out in humans, so the effect on the human body is uncertain.
While there is another study looking at microplastic effects in laboratory mice. When microplastic in food is fed to mice, microplastic accumulates in the liver, kidneys and intestines, and makes cells in the liver that can trigger free radicals.
Microparticles including mikroplastik have been proven to successfully pass through the intestine and enter the blood, and can potentially enter other organs.
Plastic in food cannot break down, because it can have a bad effect
Reporting from Kompas, according to chemical toxicologist from the University of Indonesia, Dr. rer. nat Budiawan, said that the microplastic that enters the body will be held in the organ and difficult to remove, because the microplastic content is difficult to decipher. As a result, the function of organs can be disrupted.
The chemicals that accumulate in the body are also factors that contribute to the growth of cancer. The body is actually able to decipher foreign chemicals and turn them into substances that are not harmful to the body so they can be released through urine or sweat.
However, microplastic cases are different things. Plastics in the environment only need a long time to decompose. Especially if it accumulates in the human body, the body's cells will not function properly later.
Plastic has also been found in humans. One study found that plastic fibers were found in 87 percent of the human lungs. The researchers hypothesized that this might occur because microplastic is also present in the air.
Some studies show that microplastic in the air can cause lung cells to produce chemicals that cause inflammation. However, this research was carried out in a small period so that further research is still needed.
It is wise to use plastic
Mycroplastic originates from plastic pollutants which break down into small particles and spread in the surrounding environment. It does not rule out the possibility of this microplastic danger attacking your health and your family.
Although there have not been many studies that explain the exact microplastic hazards to human health, there is no harm if you reduce the use of plastic.
You can start by limiting the use of plastic food packaging, or changing your shopping bag with a cloth bag. Little thing, but it can be of great benefit to the environment in which you live.
By reducing your use of plastic, you can reduce the amount of microplastic in the environment and keep your environment healthy.
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