Americans consuming 70,000 microplastic particles annually

Jun 06, 2019, 8:55 AM EDT
(Source: Proyecto LIBERA/flickr)
(Source: Proyecto LIBERA/flickr)

Americans are consuming nearly 70,000 microplastic particles annually by means of their food, water, and the air they breathe.

In coming up with these numbers, biologists at the University of Victoria in Canada poured over earlier studies examining the level of microplastic contamination in seafood, sugars, salts, honey, alcohol, tap water, bottled water, and in urban air, reports Yale Environment 360. They found that Americans consume between 39,000 to 52,000 microplastic particles from food and water alone every year and that number leaps to 74,000 to 121,000 when microplastics inhalation is factored in.

Alarmingly, the researchers admit that these rough estimates could only be “drastic underestimates,” given that a wide variety of food has not been assessed for its degree of contamination, writes Engadget.