Plastics are all around us, from the polyester clothes we wear and the packaging that contains our food to construction materials in our homes and more.
And according to new research presented at the 26th United European Gastroenterology Week in Vienna, plastics are also inside of us.
Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria tested stool samples from people in eight countries around the world.
They found that microplastic particles were present in every stool sample they tested. On average, they found 20 microplastic particles in every 10 grams of stool.
Those findings don’t surprise Rolf Halden, PhD, PE, director of the Center for Environmental Health Engineering at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.
“It would be naïve to think that the plastics that are present in our clothing, on our skin, and in our work and living spaces would not also enter our bodies,” Halden told Healthline.
“What surprises me more is how long it’s taken until we’ve developed an interest in looking into this exposure,” he added.