Scientists deeply worried about microplastics detected in breast milk
For the first time in history, microplastic particles were found in breast milk, leaving researchers and scientists deeply concerned about the potential impact on the health of infants, The Guardian reported.
This shocking finding was made when samples of human milk—collected from 34 healthy mothers within a week of childbirth in Rome, Italy—were analysed. Microplastic was found in 75% of the samples.
The presence of plastic in the environment continues to be a major concern due to the adverse effects of the chemicals it contains while the inhabitants of the ecosystem continue to bear the consequences of polluting the environment.
Previous studies have shown the toxic effects of microplastics in human cell lines, laboratory animals, and marine fauna, but the impact on living humans is still unknown.
According to the publication, the researchers examined mothers’ consumption of food and drinks packaged in plastic and the use of personal care products containing plastic but did not find any correlation with the presence of microplastics in breast milk.
The research suggests that microplastics are omnipresent in the environment, which “makes human exposure inevitable”.
‘It will be crucial to assess how to reduce exposure to these contaminants during pregnancy and nursing,’ said Dr. Valentina Notarstefano, who conducted the study at the Universita Politecnica dell e Marche in Italy.
However, scientists stress the need to dig deeper into the reasons behind the presence of microplastics, as breastfeeding is by far the healthiest form of infant nutrition.
Dr. Notarstefano pointed out that the benefits of breastfeeding are much greater than the harmful effects of the presence of microplastics, therefore the study does not discourage how to feed babies.
“Studies like ours must not reduce breastfeeding for children, but rather educate the public to pressure politicians to promote laws that reduce pollution,” she said.