New research: The tiniest specks of plastic can enter the human food chain | Explained News,The Indian Express

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have found that small pieces of plastic called nanoplastics can travel up the human food web, through plants, insects and even fish.

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

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HomeExplainedNew research: The tiniest specks of plastic can enter the human food chain


New research: The tiniest specks of plastic can enter the human food chain

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have found that small pieces of plastic called nanoplastics can travel up the human food web, through plants, insects and even fish.











By: Express News Service
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New Delhi | Updated: September 23, 2022 9:52:46 am



































Nanoplastics are tiny plastic debris particles smaller than 1,000 nanometre (1 nm is equal to one billionth of a metre). (File Photo)There is growing concern about the environmental and health impact of plastic pollution, especially since it breaks down into smaller pieces that begin to accumulate in the environment. Now, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have found that small pieces of plastic called nanoplastics can travel up the human food web, through plants, insects and even fish. Nanoplastics are tiny plastic debris particles smaller than 1,000 nanometre (1 nm is equal to one billionth of a metre).

How the study was conducted

According to findings published in the journal Nano Today on September 12, the team of researchers developed a new, metallic fingerprint-based method to detect and measure the amount of nanoplastics in organisms.

For their study, they applied the technique to a model food chain that contains three trophic levels (trophic level is the position an organism occupies in the food chain) — lettuce, which was the primary producer, black soldier fly larvae, the primary consumer, and insectivorous fish (roach) as the secondary consumer.

For the study, the researchers exposed lettuce plants to nanoplastics from commonly found plastic waste in the environment — polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) nanoplastics — through contaminated soil for 14 days. They were then harvested and fed to black soldier fly larvae, insects that are used as a source of protein in many countries, and are also used as feed for chickens and cattle.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/the-tiniest-specks-of-plastic-can-enter-the-human-food-chain-finds-study-8164951/


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