Research shows – Teabags can contain Nanoplastics

Research shows – Teabags can contain Nanoplastics

The teacup may contain millions of small plastic fragments, a new study shows.

Researchers in Austria have analyzed samples from three men and five women from different European countries and found plastic residues in all of them. The plastic came mainly from plastic bottles and plastic bags.

Researchers from McGill University in Canada have looked at what happens when plastic tea bags are dipped in hot and room-temperature water.
And maybe it’s not something you want in your teacup.

11.6 billion pieces of microplastics

There can be as much as 11.6 billion pieces of microplastics, and just over three billion pieces of nanoplastics when the tea bag, which is made not only of paper but also of materials such as nylon and plastic, is dipped in 95 degrees water. Fragments smaller than five millimetres in diameter are called microplastics, while pieces less than 100 nanometers are called nanoplastics.

How humans are affected by nanoplastics is still unknown, according to Tommy Cedervall, who researches nano security at Lund University.

– These plastic fragments are so small, which could mean that they are more easily absorbed by cells, but we don’t know today if they do. What we do know is that these are not any acute risks and it may be that they pass right through, he says to Research & Progress.

Accumulate in the fish brain tissue

Previously Tommy Cedervall investigated how the nano plastic can be transported through the algae and zooplankton to larger fish. The microscopic plastic particles in the water are eaten by zooplankton which in turn is eaten by fish.

In this study, it was possible to show how plastics of different sizes affect organisms in the water and that nanoplasts can cross the blood-brain barrier of fish and accumulate in the fish’s brain tissue.

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