Bottle-fed babies may ingest more than a million pieces of microplastics each day, new research showed Monday highlighting the abundance of plastics in our food products.
There is growing evidence that humans consume huge numbers of the tiny particles, formed when larger pieces of plastic break down, but very little is known about the knock-on health consequences.
Researchers in Ireland looked at the rate of microplastic release in 10 types of baby bottles or accessories made from polypropylene, the most commonly used plastic for food containers.
They followed official guidelines from the World Health Organization on sterilisation and formula preparation conditions.
Over a 21-day test period, the team found that the bottles released between 1.3 and 16.2 million plastic microparticles per liter.
They then used this data to model the potential global infant exposure to microplastics from bottle-feeding, based on national average rates of breast-feeding.
They estimated that the average bottle-fed baby could be ingesting 1.6 million plastic microparticles every day during the first 12 months of their lives.