I stumbled upon some unsettling news about microplastics. You know, those tiny microplastic fragments turning up just about everywhere? Turns out, they’re not just in our oceans or food but also inside us – yep, even our hearts. As a dad, I can’t help but wonder how this affects our families and what we can do about it. So, I did a deep dive into the subject, and here’s what I found.
First up, what exactly are microplastics? Think of them as tiny reminders of our modern, plastic-filled world. Picture something the size of a pencil eraser. While they might sound harmless, their sneaky presence in nearly everything around us is a bit alarming.
Should We Be Worried About Microplastic?
I mean, as parents, it’s kind of our job to worry, right? These microplastic tiny particles don’t just float around; they also carry potential toxins, heavy metals, and harmful chemicals. So yeah, we should be a tad concerned. Plus, while we’re just starting to learn about their potential effects on our health, initial research does raise a few eyebrows.
Daily Dose of Microplastic
Being a hands-on dad, I had to know where these pesky particles were coming from:
- Food and Drink – Shellfish and some saltwater fishes tend to be the culprits. And guess what? That bottled water, especially if left in the car, might not be as pure as you thought.
- Beauty and Self-Care – Remember those exfoliating beads in face washes? Yep, microplastics. And if you’re into glittery makeup, you might be getting more sparkle than you bargained for.
- Around the House – That cozy synthetic sweater? It’s shedding microfibers each time it’s washed. And even household dust isn’t spared.
So, What Can We Do about Microplastic?
Knowledge is power. So here are a few simple steps to reduce our family’s microplastic exposure:
- Food Choices – Consider freshwater fish over saltwater ones and minimize processed foods.
- Filtered Water – It’s time to invest in a good quality water filter.
- Home Sweet Home – Regular cleaning can keep that microplastic-laden dust at bay. And hey, maybe it’s time to give natural fibers like cotton or wool a chance.
- Product Choices – Double-check your cosmetics’ ingredient lists and consider eco-friendly brands.
- Medical Awareness – It’s essential to be informed. For example, some recent findings have shown that certain medical procedures might expose us to microplastics. Don’t shy away from discussing potential risks with healthcare providers.
The microplastic issue brings home an important point: the health of our environment deeply impacts our family’s well-being. While the task of avoiding these tiny invaders might feel overwhelming, we can make a difference with small, conscious choices. Together, as parents, we can pave a healthier path for our families and the planet.
- “Microplastics Found in Human Heart Tissues, Both before and after Surgical Procedures.” American Chemical Society, www.acs.org/pressroom/presspacs/2023/august/microplastics-found-in-human-heart-tissues-before-and-after-surgical-procedures.html.
- “Plastic, (Micro)Plastic Everywhere. What Does It Do and Why Should We Care?” American Chemical Society, www.acs.org/pressroom/tiny-matters/plastic-micro-plastic-everywhere-what-does-it-do-and-why-should-we-care.html.
- Lee, Yongjin et al. “Health Effects of Microplastic Exposures: Current Issues and Perspectives in South Korea.” Yonsei Medical Journal vol. 64,5 (2023): 301-308. doi:10.3349/ymj.2023.0048
- Campanale, Claudia et al. “A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health.” International Journal of Environmental Research and public health vol. 17,4 1212. 13 Feb. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijerph17041212
- Smith, Madeleine et al. “Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health.” Current Environmental Health Reports vol. 5,3 (2018): 375-386. doi:10.1007/s40572-018-0206-z
- US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What Are Microplastics?” NOAA’s National Ocean Service, 13 Apr. 2016, oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html.