Are you reducing the risk of ingesting toxic microplastics at home?

This is a political issue – politicians could have prevented the spread of microplastics over many decades but they couldn’t be bothered. Out of sight, out of mind – right?

Well, now these almost-invisible substances are very much on people’s minds, and a study in Sydney, Australia, showed that we could be ingesting carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals (causing cancer or harming our DNA) without knowing it.

The study found 39 per cent of deposited dust particles in participating homes were microplastics; 42 per cent were natural fibres such as cotton, hair and wool; and 18 per cent were transformed natural-based fibres such as viscose and cellophane.

The remaining one per cent were film and fragments consisting of various materials.

Between 22 and 6,169 microfibres were deposited as dust per square metre, each day.

We spend 90 per cent of our time at home – habitually. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, it is likely that we have spent even more of our time there. So it makes sense to do what we can to reduce any harm that might be lurking there – in our carpets, for example.

Most at risk of ingesting these substances are children aged under six, because they are smaller, have a lower relative body size, and breathe more quickly than adults. Kids aged five were likely to ingest microplastics equivalent to the size of a garden pea each year.

It may not seem much, but there is no established safe level of exposure.

But here’s the good news:

Having hard floors, using more natural fibres in clothing, furnishings and homewares, along with vacuuming at least weekly can reduce your exposure.

So the advice is: Get cleaning!

Source: We’re all ingesting microplastics at home, and these might be toxic for our health. Here are some tips to reduce your risk

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