A closer look at microplastics
Where are the artificial particles located and what can be done about them?
We have long been living in a world of plastic: plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic toys… plastic wherever you look. But what about the smallest plastic particles – so-called microplastics? Is this just as widespread? What about the health effects and: How can we protect ourselves from it?
All microplastic, or what?
To get closer to the topic of microplastics, it is first absolutely necessary to understand what exactly lies behind this term. Because unlike the immediately recognizable “plastic”, these small pieces of plastic are usually not visible to the naked eye. It is therefore not surprising that these small artificial pieces are smaller than 1 micrometer and are therefore also called “nanoplastics”.
In addition to the obligatory plastic, other chemical ingredients such as bisphenol A or various plasticizers are also found in order to make products lighter, more flexible or more break-resistant.
The crux of the matter is that these substances have long been suspected of being harmful to health or even carcinogenic. This is worrying news, especially when you know that there is a so-called primary and secondary microplastic.
Thus, we speak of…
- Primary microplastic, when plastic pellets of fine or liquid form are used for a specific product purpose.
Examples: Cosmetic products, household cleaners, FFP2 masks….
- Secondary microplastics, when larger pieces of plastic, for example from plastic bags, break down into their original form
Examples: Abrasion of car tires, decomposing plastic waste due to sun and water…
Life is Plastic?
Did you know? These sizes apply to the official classification of…
Nanoplastics: 1 nm – 1 µm
Microplastics:1 µm – 1 mm
Mesoplastics: 1 mm – 1 cm
Macroplastics: 1 cm – 100 cm
The logical conclusion? Microplastics inevitably end up in our environment. Starting with the oceans or our groundwater to our air and precipitation such as in the form of snow, as Russian researchers were also able to prove recently. Decomposition via the sun also plays its part in releasing microplastics into our natural environment.
As a consequence, microplastics inevitably enter our human food chain. Not only do fish and marine animals ingest the small particles, we unfortunately also ingest microplastics through the air and water we breathe. The health consequences for us? Officials, politicians and various lobbyists are still hotly debating the issue and pointing to the “lack of scientific studies and reliable data”. Logical common sense alone, however, clearly says: This can in no way be healthy and must have health consequences. Primary microplastics that contain substances such as the officially potentially harmful BPA, for example, must also inevitably entail health problems.
Eyes open while shopping!
To get a feeling of which products contain primary microplastics, we have created a small list. This will make it easier for you to look for a microplastic-free alternative. Because: There is definitely the possibility to avoid them. At this point we would also like to give you a helpful hint.
These designations provide information to recognize microplastics directly when shopping: Acrylates copolymer (AC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyurethane (PUR), polyethylene (PE), polyquaternium (P), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), nylon-12, nylon-6, acrylate crosspolymer (ACS), polyacrylate (PA), polystyrene (PS).
In addition, these apps also help track down microplastics in products during daily shopping:
The solution? Plastic Detox!
Even if you avoid primary microplastics, there is unfortunately no escaping secondary ones. The small nanoparticle particles are already too present in our environment and thus in our food cycle. As a result, microplastics come back to us humans like a boomerang and in all likelihood accumulate in our bodies and there in the human intestine. In order to get rid of this again, we have found an effective solution for us: a special chitosan ballast substance, such as is found in oyster mushrooms! The natural substance chitosan has been used in environmental technology for cleaning purposes for a long time. It acts like a kind of “suction cup” and can bind even the smallest particles to itself and discharge them. The great side effect is that chitosan also has a natural antimicrobial and antifungal effect and is already being used technologically in the preservation of food, fruit and vegetables, animal feed or in seed treatment.
It’s a clever move that we’ve used as a guide for our PlastiCLEAN product. It contains chitosan-containing oyster mushroom extract as well as many B vitamins and folate, so that the body’s own detoxification can be supported gently and effectively.
You are curious? Then get to know our PlastiCLEAN now.