Babies’ stools contain ten times more microplastic materials than those of adults, according to a study from the New York University School of Medicine relayed Slate. A proportion that worries scientists for the proper development of newborns. The endocrine disruptors present in microplastics could indeed disrupt their hormonal system and ultimately promote the appearance of cancers, fear specialists.
Kurunthachalam Kannan, an environmental health specialist and co-author of the study, stresses the importance of having a perfectly healthy endocrine system to ensure proper growth of the child, especially in the early stages of life. Another danger according to this study: plastic microparticles could end up in the intestines. These would absorb them as they do for a conventional food and they could therefore pass through the intestinal wall to end up in other organs.
Plastics present before birth
For the purposes of their study, the scientists studied the stools of six one-year-old children, three newborns, and ten adults. After filtering them, they looked for microplastics, detecting the presence of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate. As a result, the levels of polycarbonate are equivalent in all groups, but when it comes to PET, it is ten times more concentrated in one-year-old babies than in adults. Small amounts have also been found in infants, indicating that they had it before they were born.
Where do these molecules come from? The child’s environment is full of them: bottles, clothes, toys, dishes, diapers, foods, list Slate. As children willingly put their hands to their mouths, they ingest more microplastics. In future work, scientists plan to study more precisely the effects of PET on the development of infants.