Bottle preparation and sterilization can release up to 16.2 million microplastics - Plataforma Media

Bottle preparation and sterilization can release up to 16.2 million microplastics

The preparation of bottles with artificial milk (such as powdered milk) and sterilization can release 16.2 million microplastics per liter, estimates a study released yesterday in the journal Nature Food.

The study, led by a team from Trinity College Dublin, a university in Ireland, indicates that there is a strong relationship between heat and the release of microplastics, noting that the recommendations of the World Health Organization must be followed to minimize the release of these particles .

The authors analyzed scenarios of exposure of babies up to 1 year old to microplastics in 48 countries, including Portugal, and concluded that polypropylene bottles (one of the plastics in common use) can release up to 16.2 million microplastics per liter.

The sterilization of bottles and water at high temperature significantly increase the release of microplastics, especially when the temperature rises from 25 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on the country, the possible exposure to microplastics ranges from 14,600 to 4.5 million particles per day per baby. The potential exposure of babies to microplastics was calculated based, inter alia, on the numbers of bottles sold and the volume of milk consumed daily.

The authors of the research recommend, to minimize babies’ exposure to microplastics, whose health effects are unknown, that the water used to sterilize bottles should be boiled in non-plastic containers, for example stainless steel.

In addition, they advise to avoid reheating the milk (in plastic containers), using the microwave and stirring the milk in the bottle.

Without wanting to overly alarm the parents, one of the researchers, John Boland, said, quoted by the Spanish news agency Efe, that “it is possible to mitigate the risk of ingesting microplastics if the practices of sterilization and preparation of artificial milk are changed”.

Este artigo está disponível em: Português

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