How to avoid ingesting so much plastic

October 2019—Plastic is now everywhere. Including in our food and the air we breathe.

One research review published in June calculated that just by eating, drinking, and breathing, the average American ingests at least 74,000 microplastic particles every year.

It’s possible that it’s harmless but I wouldn’t bet my health on it.

There is evidence, at least in animals, that microplastics can cross the hardy membrane protecting the brain from many foreign bodies that get into the bloodstream. And there’s some evidence that mothers may be able to pass microplastics through the placenta to a developing fetus, according to research that has not yet been published but was presented at a spring conference at the Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability.

So what can you do?

  • Start by not making the situation worse. Get plastic out of your life: microfiber dish cloths, cosmetics, etc.

  • Drink tap water. According to this article, bottled water may have double the level of microplastics.

  • Don’t heat foods in plastic containers and avoid #3, #6, and #7 plastics which often have hormone-disrupting chemicals.

  • Eat more fresh, unpackaged food and avoid canned foods; the cans are often lined with BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical.

  • Keep the dust down in your house by dusting and using good vacuum bags and air filters.