Micro-plastic pollution is more of a risk in the home than I thought – Hayley Matthews

I was on BBC Radio Scotland earlier in the week, talking to Stephen Jardine, along with a researcher, about micro-plastics and the dangers they pose to us, especially our children.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Plastic pollution is a growing global problem but microplastics are so small they can be inhaled into the lungs (Picture: Medhi Fedouach/AFP via Getty Images)

I've always been quite passionate about looking at the dangers caused by plastics and toxins in the environment. However, I was surprised to hear how high a danger micro-plastics pose to our health at home.

They are minuscule but can be as big as 0.5mm which, still, not many of us would be able to spot. Hoovering helps pick up excess micro-plastics, opening windows and switching to natural fibres like cotton and wool instead of wearing polyester and nylons can also help limit exposure.

However, it is plastic toys that I find the biggest challenge. I'm currently sat looking at a plastic box full of plastic cars, plastic figures, a plastic van, plastic soft toys wearing polyester and a huge plastic car slide for them all to play on.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Read More

Read More
Many supermarket tea bags contain traces of plastic - how to check your brand

Amongst the toys sit two small wooden cars and two wooden car slides. They're not as flashy as the plastic ones, they don't have sirens, bells or whistles and they tend to just sit by themselves.

This seems to be the challenge of how plastic wins over wood. We should all be taking heed though on the advice from researchers who are warning about the amount of micro-plastics in the home, especially when there are young children.

Their lungs are still developing and the fresher and cleaner the air, the better for them. Best get hoovering then!

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.