This very commonly used kitchen utensil could be making you ill without you even realizing it.
It’s actually frighteningly easy to make a lot of mistakes when it comes to kitchen hygiene. Few people realize that the dirtiest part of the kitchen isn’t the garbage. Or that you need to watch your kitchen sponge to avoid health risks.
As The Kitchn reports, a new study has come up with some very worrying findings regarding plastic chopping boards. Yes, that harmless-looking thing most of us have that just sits on the kitchen counter.
The dangers lurking on the plastic chopping board
In a paper published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Public Health, researchers have found that plastic chopping boards are a potentially significant source of microplastics in human food.
Microplastics are fragments of any type of plastic that are less than 5 mm long, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Chemicals Agency.
For the study, the scientists investigated human exposure to microplastics while using different types of cutting boards to slice carrots.
The observation showed that 1,114 microplastic particles (plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters long) were found on the carrots each time plastic cutting boards were used.
The study shows that this means 15 milligrams of microplastics per cut, i.e., around 50 grams per year. This microplastic consumption is roughly equivalent to the consumption of 10 plastic credit cards.
The problem with microplastics
As reported by National Geographic, microplastics have been shown to be very harmful to our environment, especially our oceans and aquatic life.
According to The Kitchn, the data on the actual risks that microplastics pose to human health is not yet very solid. The report quotes Alex LeBeau, PhD, MPH, CIH, a toxicologist and certified industrial hygienist, who states:
‘The presence of the plastics under limited simulated conditions identifies them as a potential source of exposure, but it is unclear whether they pose a human health hazard or pose a risk to consumers.
From clothing to water bottles to cosmetics and food, microplastics seem to have infiltrated and permeated people’s lives. Even if you want to replace your plastic chopping boards, it seems that human ingestion of microplastics is not entirely avoidable.
- source: gentside.de/picture: hp