Microplastics may be the reason some people are more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease, a new study warns. Researchers at Nanjing Medical University found higher quantities of these microscopic plastic particles in the feces of people with IBD than in their healthy peers.
The study notes that people regularly ingest these particles through contaminated drinking water or by eating foods (like fish) which consume them first.
“Human ingestion of microplastics (MPs) is inevitable due to the ubiquity of MPs in various foods and drinking water. Whether the ingestion of MPs poses a substantial risk to human health is far from understood,” researchers write in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
The team suggests that exposure to microplastics may be the actual reason people develop IBD. Another possibility is the condition exacerbates the retention of MPs.