Ingested microplastics: Do humans eat one credit card per week?

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Ingested Microplastic (MP) particles can harm the human body. Estimations of the total mass of ingested MP particles correspond to 50 plastic bags per year (Bai et al., 2022), one credit card per week (Gruber et al., 2022), or a median value of 4.1▒μg/week for adults (Mohamed Nor et al., 2021). The first two estimations are based on an analysis (Senathirajah et al., 2021) that predicts a total ingested mass of MP particles mi,MP of 0.1–5▒g/week. This work revisits and evaluates this calculation and compares its results and methods to Mohamed Nor et al. (2021). Senathirajah combines data of averaged MP particle masses from papers that reported MP particle sizes and MP particle counts nMP in shellfish, salt, beer, and water based on other papers that detected MP particles. Combined with the estimated weekly consumption of those consumables, they compute mi,MP. This work raises some serious issues of Senathirajah in the way they combine data and they obtained particle sizes. It concludes that Senathirajah overestimates mi,MP by several orders of magnitude and that mi,MP can be considered as a rather irrelevant factor for the toxic effects of MP particles on the human body.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100071
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of hazardous materials letters
Issue numberNovember
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors


  • Human health
  • Ingestion
  • Microplastics
  • Size distribution

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