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Research: Crop plants are taking up microplastics

NEW RESEARCH ASSERTS THAT 'MICROPLASTICS' ARE GETTING INTO THE FOOD WE CONSUME. New research published in the journal 'Nature Sustainability' confirms that edible plants do indeed take up microplastics (MPs) serving as a point of entry into the human body.
One controversy in organic agriculture has been the banning under USDA 'National Organic Program' standards of so-called "biodegradable" bio mulch. This research now confirms that the cautious ban has been visionary. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Microplastics (MPs), i.e., tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in length, can now be found throughout the ocean and other aquatic ecosystems, and even in our seafood and salt. As MPs have become ubiquitous, scientists have become concerned about the transfer of MPs from the environment to the food chain and the potential impact of MPs on human health…

"Most MPs are emitted to the terrestrial environment and accumulate in large amounts in soil. In addition, secondary particles are formed by the degradation of plastics. Wastewater, an important source of water for agricultural irrigation, also contains small-sized MPs…

"For decades, scientists believed that plastic particles were simply too large to pass through the physical barriers of intact plant tissue. But this new study disproves this assumption.

"'Cracks at the emerging sites of new lateral roots of lettuce and wheat crops can take in MPs from the surrounding soil and water. Those MPs can then be transferred from the roots up to the edible parts of the crop,' said Prof. Luo.

"Scientists already knew that particles as tiny as 50 nanometers in size could penetrate plant roots. But Prof. Luo's group revealed that particles about 40 times that size can get into plants as well…

"These findings shed new light on the possibility of food chain transfer of MPs. If MPs are getting into our crop plants, they are also getting into our meat and dairy. This raises obvious concerns about growing crops on fields contaminated with wastewater treatment discharge or sewage sludge, a process that could introduce MPs into the food chain. It also raises the key question of how MPs affect human health, a question for which there is as yet no clear answer."

Research: Crop plants are taking up microplastics

Microplastics (MPs), i.e., tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in length, can now be found throughout the ocean and other aquatic ecosystems, and even in our seafood and salt. As MPs have become ubiquitous, scientists have become concerned about the transfer of MPs from the environment to…


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