TheDairySite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the dairy industry

News

Microplastics can accumulate in the blood of farm animals, says new research

27 October 2021

Emerging research presented at the Plastic Health Summit in Amsterdam shows that microplastics have been found in the bloodstream of pigs and cattle.

Microplastics have been found in the blood of cows and pigs, according to new research published on 21 October.

Research led by scientists at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam found traces of microplastics in the bloodstream of farm animals.

The study is believed to be the first in the world to show microplastic particles are capable of being absorbed into the blood of mammals.

Scientists believe the results could have serious implications for overall health given plastic particles entering bloodstreams risk being deposited in these organs or potentially making their way into breast milk.

The research was presented for the first time to the Plastic Health Summit in Amsterdam.

The results raise serious concerns about the presence of microplastics throughout the food chain and air.

Speaking at the Summit, Dr Esperanza Huerta lwanga presented new research revealing microplastics in soil can additionally migrate through the soil food chain and eventually into the crops eaten by farm animals.

Dr Iwanga found that soil diversity and soil ecosystem services change due to the presence of microplastics.

She subsequently issued a serious warning about the impact of microplastics on food safety, calling for further research to be conducted.

Dr Heather Leslie, of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said: “We have uncovered preliminary evidence of trace amounts of plastic particles in farm animals’ bloodstreams.

“While we are waiting for knowledge about which levels are safe and which levels are not safe, it is in the interest of animal and human health protection to further explore this nascent signal of plastic pollution exposure in the food chain.”

Dr Esperanza Huerta lwanga said: “Microplastics in soil affect soil life and crop growth. These plastic particles can additionally migrate through the soil food chain and eventually into the crops.

“I have found that soil diversity and soil ecosystem services change due to the presence of microplastics. So, what does this mean for the environment and food safety?

“We need to urgently ask: what does this mean for the environment and food safety?

The Summit sees research and testimonials presented by international experts from Indonesia, Malawi, Greenland, The Netherlands, UK, and the US.



Partners


Seasonal Picks

Managing Pig Health: A Reference for the Farm - 2nd Edition