SEOUL, March 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans ingest 16.3 microplastic particles on average per day while consuming food although level of consumption is not enough to arouse concern about health, a study has found.
Microplastics are plastic particles with a size of less than 5 millimeters that are artificially manufactured or created through the decomposition of marine waste.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety carried out a study on the level of microplastic pollution and its exposure to humans for 102 items in 11 categories, including seaweed and salted fish available in the domestic market and foods that were reported in foreign countries to have a microplastic pollution problem.
Based on calculations of the level of microplastic pollution and the amount of food consumption, the per-capita daily consumption of microplastic particles averaged 16.3.
The ministry noted that based on current scientific understanding of microplastic toxicity, this level of consumption does not have a worrying impact on human health.
The common microplastic ingredients that were detected in this research were polyethylene and polypropylene.
The item with the highest level of microplastic contamination was salted seafood, in which 6.6 microplastic particles were detected per 1 gram.
The item with the lowest level of microplastic contamination was liquid tea, in which 0.0003 microplastic particles were detected per 1 milliliter.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)