Can Microplastics Damage My Health?

Efforts should be made to recycle

You Might Be Eating Microplastic, and You Don’t Even Know It

For decades, we have used plastic in many different ways, for all kinds of purposes, never thinking about the impact it would have later on in life. In recent years, the world has become more aware of just how harmful plastic can be.

Plastic takes years and years to break down, and when it does, it turns into tiny little pieces that we know as microplastics, but it doesn’t stop there. In recent studies, evidence showed that microplastics could be found in food, most of all, in seafood. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? A piece of plastic that once had a purpose broke down into pieces so small that fish would eat it —probably without realizing it—and somehow traveled all the way to your dinner plate.

You Might Be Eating Microplastic and You Don't Even Know It
Microplastics are most commonly found in seawater and consumed by some fish.

Despite the mind-boggling news, it is not clear yet whether these microplastics can affect human health or not. Yes, they are consumed by some fish, and it does affect their health, particularly their liver, due to the accumulation of toxic chemicals. It also affects mussels, oysters and even deep-sea organisms.

There are very few studies, thus far,  that examines the effect of microplastics in human health. For this reason, we are not yet at a point where we can say we should avoid X or Y foods to minimize microplastic consumption. However, since we do know that high concentrations of microplastics can be found in fish and shellfish, it is recommended to consume high-quality products from trusted sources.

You may also want to avoid using plastics that contain BPA, a chemical that can leak into food and is usually found in plastic food storage containers or plastic packaging. As you limit your use of this type of plastic, you’d minimize your chances of ingesting microplastics and help out the environment, while you’re at it. It’s a win-win.


For over 40 years, Sunrise Sanitation has been in the solid waste and recycling business, to help you responsibly manage your waste. If you’re in Maryland, West Virginia, Tucker, Randolph, Pendleton, Preston, Mineral, and Grant counties in WV and Garrett County in MD contact us to find out more about how we can help.


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