Microplastics can even be found in BEER: Study reveals the average US brew contains over four man-made particles per liter.
Apr 30, 2018 09:33PM
By MOLLIE CAHILLANE for DAILYMAIL.COM - April 30, 2018
It appears nothing is safe from plastic pollution anymore - not even the beer we drink.
A recent study published in the Public Library of Science's journal found that on average, beer contains 4.05 man-made particles, mostly plastic fibers, per liter.
If the results are generalized across all beers, researchers estimates that people drinking an average of a beer a day will consume 520 particles annually.
A recent study analyzing 12 different kinds of beers containing water from five Great Lakes found that the beverages contain an average of 4.05 man-made particles, mostly plastic fibers, per liter
The team of three researchers analyzed 12 different beers between January and April of last year.
All of the beverages contained water from one of the five Laurentian Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.
Microplastics are classified as plastic debris that is than five millimeters in length, according to the National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration.
They can pass through water filtration systems and end up in the ocean and Great Lakes, posing a potential threat to aquatic life as well as to people.
A recent study found that microplastics are in 93 percent of bottled water from around the world, meaning that plastic pollution isn't just a problem in oceans.
Three breweries drew water from Lake Superior, four from Lake Michigan, one from Lake Huron, two from Lake Erie, and two from Lake Ontario, according to the study.
Most of the selected beers were pilsners, as wheat beers and stouts would clog the filters.
Seven brands of beer were purchased from Minneapolis, Minnesota liquor stores, two were purchased directly from breweries in Duluth, Minnesota, and the remaining three were purchased in Alpena, Michigan and Rochester, New York.
However, the plastic concentrations in the beer were different than the municipal water used to make the drinks, and the researchers weren't sure why.
Microplastics are classified as plastic debris that is than five millimeters in length, according to the National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration. They can pass through water filtration systems and end up in the ocean and Great Lakes
WHAT CAN MICROPLASTICS DO TO THE HUMAN BODY IF THEY END UP IN OUR FOOD SUPPLY?
According to an article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, our understanding of the potential human health effects from exposure to microplastics 'constitutes major knowledge gaps.'
Humans can be exposed to plastic particles via consumption of seafood and terrestrial food products, drinking water and via the air.
However, the level of human exposure, chronic toxic effect concentrations and underlying mechanisms by which microplastics elicit effects are still not well understood enough in order to make a full assessment of the risks to humans.
According to Rachel Adams, a senior lecturer in Biomedical Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University, ingesting microplastics could cause a number of potentially harmful effects, such as:
- Inflammation: when inflammation occurs, the body's white blood cells and the substances they produce protect us from infection. This normally protective immune system can cause damage to tissues.
- An immune response to anything recognised as 'foreign' to the body: immune responses such as these can cause damage to the body.
- Becoming carriers for other toxins that enter the body: microplastics generally repel water and will bind to toxins that don't dissolve, so microplastics can bind to compounds containing toxic metals such as mercury, and organic pollutants such as some pesticides and chemicals called dioxins, which are known to causes cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems. If these microplastics enter the body, toxins can accumulate in fatty tissues.
The study said that it 'would seem to indicate that any contamination within the beer is not just from the water used to brew the beer itself.'
This means that somehow, plastics managed to get into the beer packaging during the brewing process.
'There are no natural sources of plastic,' Sherri Mason, one of the researchers, said to Earther.
'It's a purely synthetic man-made material. If we're finding it in our water, our beer, our sea salt, and our seafood, and our air, then maybe we need to think about what we can do to reduce our use of this material so that it's not coming back to harm us.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5675213/Microplastics-BEER-new-study-finds.html#ixzz5EDI8whsx
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