A new study investigating microplastics has found that baby bottles made of polypropylene (the most common type of baby bottle) release millions of these plastics during the process of sterilizing, rinsing and preparing baby formula in a bottle -- highlighting the need for more research into the effect microplastics have on the human body.
Younger children and infants are susceptible also because their organs are just developing. And if you disrupt a child's development of the brain or their metabolism, you literally can have permanent and lifelong consequences.
“So this is a serious and global public health threat."
In this recent study focusing on baby bottles, researchers also found that more plastic was released as the temperature of the water used to clean the bottles increased.
When researchers sterilized the bottles and exposed them to water at 70 degrees Celsius, around 16.2 million micro plastic particles were released per litre. But when the water temperature went up to 95 degrees Celsius, researchers found as many as 55 million plastic particles could be released into the water.
Meanwhile, at 25 degrees Celsius -- far too cool to pass international guidelines for proper sterilization -- only around 600,000 plastic particles were released.
“What we found is there's a direct correlation with the temperature of the water, so the higher the temperature of the water, the more microplastics are released,” said John Boland, one of the study’s authors and a professor at Trinity College in Dublin.
But temperature was not the only factor that changed the amount of microplastics leaching out from the bottle.
“What was really surprising is that if you have room temperature water, and you just shake it for a minute, you release hundreds and thousands of microplastics,” he added. “Mechanical agitation of the bottle also releases microplastics. And so that was surprising.”
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