14 Sep People are Pooping Microplastics
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Philipp Schwabl, MD
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Department of Internal Medicine III
Medical University of Vienna
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: There is a lot of research published about microplastics being present in the ocean and subsequently also being found in the gut of sea animals, however there were no investigations if also humans involunterily ingest microplastics. This gave us rationale to perform a pilot study.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Our most important findings are: Now we have evidence that microplastics are transported through the human gut and thus are involuntarily ingested. The diversity of plastic particles found, suggests that there are many different sources for the gastrointestinal microplastic burden. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings as our study is limited by the low number of samples.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: There is first evidence that also humans are in close contact with microplastics. At the moment there is not enough proof that microplastics are having an impact on human’s health but research on this topic is ongoing
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: In order to dissect the potential impact of microplastics on human health, the particle size threshold, the concentrations, the plastic type and the role of chemical additives of microplastic need to be investigated.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Our study was a great collaboration with Dr. Bettina Liebmann from the Environment Agency Austria, who is an expert in microplastic research and who developed new methods to analyse stool for presence of microplastic particles.
Detection of Various Microplastics in Human Stool: A Prospective Case Series
Philipp Schwabl, MD; Sebastian Köppel, Dipl-Ing(FH); Philipp Königshofer, DVM; Theresa Bucsics, MD; Michael Trauner, MD; Thomas Reiberger, MD; Bettina Liebmann, PhD
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2019. DOI: 10.7326/M19-0618
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