Scientists at Xi’an Jiaotong University have calculated that babies ingest up to 0.89 milligrams of microplastics per day if their breast milk is stored in plastic bags. The results of the study are published in the journal Environmental Pollution .
The researchers analyzed the amount, size and composition of microplastics and other particles that enter breast milk from special disposable bags for storing breast milk. In total, they tested six brands of bags. The labels indicated that the bags were made of polyethylene or its modifications.
The results of the analyzes showed that the majority of particles entering the solution from the bags were polyethylene, nylon-6 and polyethylene terephthalate. Their total weight ranged from 0.22 to 0.47 mg. Based on average infant breast milk intake of 650-850 ml, scientists estimate that infants ingest between 0.61 and 0.89 mg of microplastics per day when fed exclusively on breast milk stored in storage bags.
Previous experiments in mice have shown that microplastics in the gut can cause microbiome dysbiosis and lipid metabolism disorders. Recent studies show that infants exposed to even small doses of microplastics in the early stages of development may suffer from gas and nutrient imbalances. The authors of the study believe that it is necessary to develop alternative materials for storing expressed milk.