April 4, 2018


How we swallow 114 pieces of plastic with every meal: Household dust containing soft furnishings and synthetic fabrics fall onto dinner plates before being consumed. Scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh made the shocking finding. They put Petri dishes containing sticky dust traps next to plates in three homes. 

The Average person swallows up to 68,415 possibly dangerous plastic fibres a year. We could be swallowing more than 100 tiny plastic particles with every main meal, a shocking study reveals. The plastic, which can come from soft furnishings and synthetic fabrics, gets into household dust which falls on plates and is consumed. UK scientists made the discovery after putting Petri dishes containing sticky dust traps on the table next to dinner plates in three homes at meal times.

Up to 14 pieces of plastic were found in the Petri dishes at the end of a 20-minute meal – the equivalent of 114 plastic fibres falling on the average dinner plate given their much larger size. The scientists, from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, concluded that the average person swallows up to 68,415 potentially dangerous plastic fibres a year simply through sitting down to eat.  The study confirms the alarming spread of plastic in the air which was recently uncovered by the Daily Mail.

An investigation by this newspaper, which has run a longstanding Turn The Tide on Plastic campaign, revealed earlier this month that fillets of fresh fish from open counters at major supermarkets contain up to 139 pieces of plastic for every 240g. The particles were too large to have passed from the gut into the flesh of the fish so the University of Portsmouth scientists who oversaw our investigation believe the plastics came from airborne contamination.

Experts warn that ingesting plastic particles can damage lungs, poison kidneys and interfere with hormones. It had previously been thought the risk to human health was largely from eating fish polluted by plastic waste in the oceans. But the Edinburgh scientists set out to compare plastic fibres found in mussels with the amount in the average household meal. They found fewer than two microplastics in each mussel, which could be linked to the marine environment, and conclude that the average person can expect to consume 100 plastic particles a year through eating the shellfish. 

But they will ingest anything from 13,731 to 68,415 fibres in a year during meals because of household dust. Dr Ted Henry, senior author of the study and professor of environmental toxicology at Heriot-Watt University, said: ‘These results may be surprising to some people who may expect the plastic fibres in seafood to be higher than those in household dust. ‘We do not know where these fibres come from, but it is likely to be inside the home and the wider environment.’

The plastic fibres found in the home-cooked meals did not come from the food or the cooking environment, but household dust, the authors believe. Easter egg manufacturers are still using excessive plastic packaging, an MP has warned. Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, urged manufacturers to eliminate plastic in next year’s eggs to protect marine life. She said it was ‘disappointing’ that firms had failed to change their ways as the weight of packaging for the average Easter egg – 22g – has not improved since 2012. 

Lindt had the worst chocolate to packaging ratio, at nearly 2:1, with the egg itself taking up less than a sixth of the box, her report found. Thorntons and M&S included a non-recyclable plastic bag and Cadbury’s, Mars and Terry’s failed to include proper recycling information. Miss Swinson said: ‘Most major brands have failed to streamline their packaging and – as was the case six years ago – the evidence points to widespread complacency.’ 

Eating is the way in which humans can ingest this dust, as well as breathing it in from the air. Julian Kirby, of Friends of the Earth, said: ‘Plastic microfibres found in the dust in our homes and the air we breathe can come from car tyres, carpets and soft furnishings, as well as clothes such as fleece jackets. ‘These are regularly shedding tiny bits of plastic into the environment as they are worn away. ‘We urgently need the Government to adopt an action plan to end plastic pollution and research the possible impacts of environmental plastic on human health.’ 


By DocJon & Vicki

This is fairly simple. Notice that the article comes from Europe, where they have become a government-centrist society, expecting government to make their lives better by regulating everything to which they are exposed; however, THIS is America, a free-market system. Americans do not want government intervention into our lives beyond what is absolutely necessary, so the idea that government needs to step in and stop the widespread use of plastics is absurd! It is We The People who must hold manufacturer’s feet to the fire and demand alternative, natural ways to package products in a safer way, such as wax paper, boxes and other safer, more natural packaging. If they refuse, we do not buy their products or shop in their stores!

We have noticed for years that mega-marts, such as Walmart and Costco, package nearly all of their produce, from green onions to lettuce, broccoli to apples and everything beyond in plastic packaging. While this is convenient for distributors and grocers, for shipping, stacking and also for pre-weighed pricing, we believe that if it is causing health problems for the people, it must end. It is one thing for a shopper to grab a plastic bag and weigh out their own produce, or even coffee, candies, nuts, seeds and other foods from bulk bins, then transfer the product to canisters at home, but it is quite another for the farm processing plant to pre-weigh and package these products and then let them incubate in plastic for potentially weeks. Health-oriented grocers provide scales the produce labels based upon item # for choosing and weighing out your own products (self-bagging/weighing and labeling based upon weight) and we think that is an excellent idea. Now meat…it is time to end the practice by most grocers to place pre-cut meats onto Styrofoam trays with little fiber and plastic diapers (to sop up juices), then wrap the entire ensemble in plastic wrap and let them sit in the grocery case for many days, or those meat-processing plants pre-cut and trim large pismos of beef , then cryopack them in plastic for delivery to the markets for processing. The days are gone that fresh, entire sides of beef were delivered to the butchers at butcher shops and grocery stores for processing in-store.

So what can you do? Here are some suggestions:

  • Refuse to purchase any pre-wrapped meats or produce

  • Shop for meat only in markets that have butchers who can wrap your meat, which YOU choose from the meat case, that the butcher wraps in butcher paper (usually, one side is coated in plastic; tell the butcher to place the meat on the paper side and wrap so that the plastic side is on the outside) and seals. You may either use it that day or freeze it for up to a week before using and it will keep just fine; in fact, the plastic coating on the OUTSIDE keeps the inside fresh and protected.

  • Buy only loose produce and register a complaint at the customer service desk that you will not purchase produce that is packaged in plastic, that you wish to choose each item yourself to insure the quality of what you purchase for your family (many of the pre-packaged foods are rotten on the bottom where you cannot see it anyway)

  • Store your foods in glass containers (if they have plastic lids, place parchment paper between the food and the lid).

  • Use 100% cotton slipcovers on furniture that is made with synthetics

  • Replace carpets with hardwood or porcelain flooring and use 100% cotton or wool rugs

  • Dress yourself and family members in non-synthetic clothing and use all natural bedding and linens

Markets will bear what the people will buy only; never assume that you have no choices, because you do. Please do not make it known what you expect in quality from your retailers. It is YOUR money that you are spending and YOUR family whose health you are protecting!



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Real-Time Map Screen Shot – August 2014