Thg 11 3, 23
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How to Avoid Microplastics: 10+ Daily Exposure Sources
By Son Vu
Microplastics, those minuscule plastic particles measuring less than 5 mm wide. They have infiltrated not only our environment but also our very bodies. These tiny plastic particles can originate from various sources, such as:
- Primary microplastics: These are intentionally produced small plastic particles like the microbeads once used in cosmetics.
- Secondary microplastics: These are generated when larger plastic items degrade over time, exposed to elements like sunlight, wind, and waves.
The ubiquity of microplastics is a growing concern as they pose significant threats to our environment, wildlife, water, and soil. What's more, they've even infiltrated human blood and tissue, raising concerns for our health. In this guide, EQUO will point out 10 sources of daily microplastic exposure that you may not be aware of.
1. How to avoid Microplastics in your food
Microplastics have invaded our food chain, posing a potential threat to our health. This guide will explore practical ways to protect your food from these tiny plastic intruders.
1.1. Drink filtered tap water
Even your seemingly harmless tap water can be a source of microplastics. These tiny plastic particles can find their way into your water supply. To ensure your drinking water is free from microplastics, consider using a water filter.
Two effective types of water filters for removing microplastics are carbon block filters and distillation filters. Carbon block filters use activated carbon to capture microplastics and other contaminants. Distillation filters heat water to its boiling point, leaving microplastics and impurities behind.
1.2. Limit seafood consumption
Seafood is a delightful cuisine, but it's essential to be aware of the potential microplastic contamination. Microplastics can accumulate in marine life, including fish, which can end up on your plate. To reduce your exposure to microplastics while enjoying seafood:
- Cook your seafood thoroughly, heat can help break down some of the microplastics.
- Remove the skin and organs of fish before consumption, as microplastics often accumulate in these parts.
1.3. Replace tea bags with Loose-leaf tea
The innocent teabag may not be as innocent as it seems. Brewing a plastic tea bag can release billions of microplastics and nanoplastics into your tea. Many tea bags, even those labeled as "paper," contain plastic. To avoid this, switch to loose-leaf tea and use reusable, refillable linen tea bags or tea balls for steeping.
1.4. Store food in metal or glass containers
When storing your food, opt for metal or glass containers instead of plastic wrap, bags, plastic containers. Prolonged contact with plastic can lead to the absorption of chemicals from the plastic into your food. Using beeswax wrap is another eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap.
1.5. Avoid microwaving food in plastic
Microwaving food in plastic is a common practice, but it can be a significant source of microplastic exposure. The heat from the microwave can cause plastic to break down, releasing microplastics into your food.
If you must microwave food in plastic, choose containers labeled as "microwave safe." However, keep in mind that even these containers may release microplastics into your food.
1.6. Say no to plastic takeaway cups and straws
Plastic cups and straws are a source of microplastic exposure because they are made from synthetic plastics, such as polyester and nylon. Some types of plastic cups and straws contain additives, such as colorants and stabilizers. These additives can also break down into microplastics and enter the environment.
So, Make a conscious effort to decline plastic takeaway cups and straws. Carry your reusable coffee cups and straws
However, if you are too busy and cannot clean them thoroughly after each use, please refer to EQUO's environmentally friendly at the following link:
All of EQUO's products are made from 100% natural materials and can completely biodegrade in the environment within 3-6 months. These products not only protect the environment but also ensure safety for consumers, suitable for all types of beverages.
2. Reducing Microplastics exposure in your home
Microplastics are infiltrating our living spaces, including your homes. To ensure a safer and healthier home environment, let's focus on ways to reduce microplastic exposure within your house.
2.1. Dust and vacuum regularly
Microplastics can enter your body through the air you breathe, in addition to the food and water you consume. They are so small that they can be found in dust, which can accumulate under beds, in corners, and in the air. Regular dusting and vacuuming can prevent microplastics from accumulating and being inhaled by household members. Here are some additional tips for avoiding microplastics from dust and vacuuming regularly:
- Dust with old sheets, towels, or clothes instead of microfiber cloths. Microfiber cloths are a major source of microplastics.
- Vacuum and dust at least once a week. This will help to remove microplastics from your home before they have a chance to accumulate.
- Use air filters or purifiers that specifically capture microplastics. This can help to further reduce your exposure to microplastics in the air.
- Opt for hard flooring over carpet. Carpeting releases more microplastics into the air than hard flooring.
By following these tips, you can help to reduce your exposure to microplastics from dust and vacuuming regularly.
2.2. Change your laundry routine
One of the biggest sources of microplastics is laundry. When synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, are washed, they release microplastics into the wastewater. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of microplastics released from your laundry:
- Wash your clothes less often. The more often you wash your clothes, the more microplastics they will release.
- Use cold water. Cold water is less abrasive than hot water and can help to reduce microplastic shedding.
- Wash full loads. A full load of laundry will reduce friction between clothes, which can help to reduce microplastic shedding.
- Avoid the delicate wash setting. The delicate wash setting uses more water than other settings, which can increase microplastic shedding.
- Use a liquid detergent. Liquid detergents are less abrasive than powder detergents and can help to reduce microplastic shedding.
If you must machine-dry your clothes, there are a few things you can do to reduce microplastic shedding:
- Use a lint filter. Lint filters can help to trap microplastics before they are released into the wastewater.
- Use a microfiber laundry bag. Microfiber laundry bags can help to trap microplastics in the washing machine and prevent them from being released into the wastewater.
In conclusion, by regularly dusting and vacuuming with microfiber cloth alternatives and adopting mindful laundry practices, you can significantly reduce microplastic exposure in your home. These small changes contribute to a cleaner, healthier living space and a more sustainable environment.
3. Sustainable shopping to avoid Microplastics
Our pursuit of convenience and style has inadvertently introduced microplastics into unexpected corners of our lives. From the clothes we wear to the cosmetics we apply, these minuscule plastic particles have found their way into everyday choices, impacting the environment.
3.1. Choose organic clothes and natural fibers
Currently, a significant 60% of clothing materials are composed of synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic. These fabrics are celebrated for their versatility, affordability, and durability. They offer warmth in winter attire and breathability in sportswear. However, there's a hidden downside – every laundry cycle of these garments releases an alarming number of microplastics. Acrylic, in particular, sheds more than 700,000 microplastics with each wash. Shockingly, a 2017 report discovered that 35% of microplastics in the ocean originate from synthetic fabrics.
To mitigate this issue, one can opt for natural materials like wool, silk, and hemp in their clothing choices, reducing the release of microplastics during washing. Moreover, practicing sustainable consumption is vital, as even organic cotton garments have their environmental impact.
3.2. Select Plastic-free cosmetics and Microbead-free beauty products
The majority of cosmetic products, approximately 90%, contain tiny plastic particles called microplastics. These microplastics are added to enhance the texture, color, and shimmer of the products. However, when you wash off these cosmetics in the shower, around 100,000 plastic particles are washed down the drain and end up in the sewage system. Unfortunately, these microplastics often bypass wastewater plant filters and enter our waterways, causing pollution.
To steer clear of microplastics in your cosmetics and beauty products, it's important to carefully read the product labels. Look out for ingredients like: Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Nylon, Polymethyl methacrylate, Acrylates Copolymer. If you spot any of these ingredients on the label, it's best to avoid using that product.
Amidst the pressing need for environmental consciousness, our purchasing decisions can no longer be arbitrary. Choosing clothing made of natural fibers and scrutinizing cosmetic labels for microplastic ingredients are vital steps toward mitigating the microplastic issue.
4. Transforming habits and mindsets for a greener future
As we stand at the threshold of an increasingly eco-conscious era, the need to transform our habits and mindsets for a greener future has never been more pressing. Microplastics, those miniscule particles of plastic, have infiltrated our environment, demanding a shift in our behavior and perspective.
4.1. Opt for Plastic-free products
When making purchasing decisions, opt for brands that are committed to eco-friendly packaging choices. Look for products that come in glass, paper, or materials that can be easily recycled. By supporting such brands, you actively contribute to reducing the demand for harmful plastic packaging, helping to protect the environment.
4.2. Use public or alternative transportation
Automobile tires are a significant contributor to microplastic pollution, accounting for 28% of the microplastics present in the ocean. As vehicles move, tires naturally degrade, releasing these minute plastic particles into the environment. Therefore, fewer cars on the road translate to a reduction in microplastic emissions.
Choosing public transportation, such as buses, trains or walking. By doing so, you effectively remove one more car (your own) from the road, contributing to a cleaner environment with reduced microplastic contamination.
4.3. Backing Eco-friendly legislation
Lobby for policies that encourage eco-friendly practices and aim to curtail plastic pollution in your local area. Your vocal support and active involvement can lead to tangible improvements.
You can participate in community meetings or join organizations advocating for bans on single-use plastics, plastic recycling programs, or initiatives that promote the reduction of plastic waste in your neighborhood. Your engagement can bring about real changes in environmental sustainability policies and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.
In conclusion, choosing plastic-free products and using public transportation are some of the ways to protect yourself and those around you from microplastics. By making these choices, we can contribute to creating a greener and healthier environment for everyone.