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Source: ISTOCK

The Average Human Swallows 2,000 Microplastics a Week, Study Finds

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Remember the urban legend that the average human swallows eight spiders while asleep every year? Well, that may not be true, but apparently, humans are accidentally swallowing something that might be even worse: plastic. According to a new analysis commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and conducted at the University of Newcastle, the average human potentially ingests about 2,000 microplastics every week. Eek.

As explained in a press release on the University of Newcastle's website, the study, which is titled No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People, compiled data from more than 50 studies regarding human microplastic ingestion. The analysis defines microplastics as plastic particles no larger than 5 millimeters. 5,000 microplastics comes out to about 5 grams per week, which is about the weight of a credit card. To make that statistic ever scarier, that comes out to about 21 grams of plastic swallowed per month, or more than 250 grams per year.