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The Dangers of Microplastics to Health, Part 2 of 2

2021-01-23
Language:English

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Nowadays, the majority of clothing contains synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or polyester. Clothes like T-shirts, dresses and jeans may use cotton that is blended with synthetic materials. These manmade fabrics are comprised of plastic fibers. Workers in the fabric manufacturing plant may inhale them. The dimensions of microfibers are an important factor for their toxicity. Finer fibers are easier to eliminate from the airway, while longer fibers are more difficult to expel from the body and may destroy pulmonary cells. The biopersistent ones are more likely to cause acute or chronic lung inflammation. The microplastics do not stay in the factory. Every time synthetic garments are put in the washing machine, a single load could generate up to 700,000 microfibers that eventually end up in the sewage system. Besides influences on respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, microplastics can also act as carriers of endocrine disruptors. It is time for us to rethink plastics and make immediate changes in our habits.

Here are some tips to minimize the risks of microplastic waste being introduced to the environment or being in our immediate surroundings: 1. Avoid single-use plastic bags. According to statistics, about one trillion single-use bags are used worldwide annually. That equals to nearly two million bags utilized every minute. So, when you go shopping, make sure to bring your own bags. Always keep one handy when you go out. This is a very important first step to curtail the use of single-use plastics. 2. Buy food in bulk and products with less or no plastic packaging. 3. Use glass containers instead of plastic ones. 4. Recycle. When tossing plastic trash, pay attention to ensure it is placed in the correct recycling container. That way we can maximize the amount of plastics being recycled. 5. Avoid cosmetic products that contain microbeads. 6. Quit smoking. 7. Minimize household dust. We hope today’s program has changed the way you look at plastics and has provided you with insights on how we can lessen the negative effects of microplastics on our world.

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