Polypropylene baby bottles were found to release millions of microplastic particles, which was made worse by hot liquids, according to a new study.
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin published findings in Nature Food on Monday. They found that polypropylene bottles release as many as 16.2 million microplastic particles per liter and hot water ramps up the release to 55 million particles.
According to the study, bottle sterilization and prepping exposes infants to about 1 million microplastic particles on a daily average.
"When we saw these results in the lab we recognised immediately the potential impact they might have,” said John Boland, the corresponding study author and professor at Trinity's School of Chemistry. “The last thing we want is to unduly alarm parents, particularly when we don't have sufficient information on the potential consequences of microplastics on infant health.”
The researchers drafted new recommendations to help minimize the amount of microplastics released while prepping bottles. Boland added that the team is calling for revised guidelines on the matter.
Liwen Xiao, professor at TrinityHaus and Trinity's School of Engineering said the research reveals that exposure is closer than previously realized.
“We need to urgently assess the potential risks of microplastics to human health,” Xiao said. “Understanding their fate and transport through the body following ingestion is an important focus of future research.”