How Many Microplastics Am I Ingesting?
We are very excited to show our brand new tool for estimating microplastic consumption! We developed this tool through surveying the research and finding some of the most likely pathways for microplastic ingestion. This tool is for engagement purposes to help people start to understand the scope of the problem we are dealing with. It should not be used for exact ingestion numbers or used in any sort of health related capacity.
How Does It Work?
This tool asks a simple series of questions related to the food and water habits of the user. These answers are then weighted and tallied to give a relative ingestion level. Using the currently available research, we can give an estimate of what the annual microplastic particle count ingestion level is for the user.
What Else Should I Know?
This is our first attempt at making an exposure/consumption based tool for microplastics. As our projects progress and more reliable data is available; we will be updating it to give more accurate and detailed estimates. Unfortunately, microplastics research is very much in it's infancy. Estimates and particle counts from across the available research vary wildly. Some estimate that we consume 90,000 particles in a year, some estimate that a single paper cup can leech 25,000 particles!
The discrepancies between these numbers are massive and all of the research calls for better and more standard methods for eliminating this variability to create more useful information. Parverio is stepping up to meet this need and is working diligently to create and provide these techniques to researchers, industry, and consumers.
In the meantime, we used what research there is to rank certain habits and their likelihood to cause above/below average microplastic consumption. We can then use these rankings to give a user a rough estimate of where they likely fall in the spectrum of ingestion. We hope as we get better more consistent data we can give more meaningful estimates. We believe that will only happen when we engage more of the public in microplastic knowledge, which is why we created this tool. So go ahead an give it a try and let us know what you think!
References and Further Reading