The air and food we breathe contain microscopic pieces of plastic called microplastics.
Worries over their possible health effects stem from the fact that they harm the ecosystem and take millennia to decompose. Ecotoxicology and Public Health has released research that compared two distinct plastic cutting boards for the quantity of microplastics detected in meals. Researchers discovered that when plastic cutting boards were used, 1,114 microplastic particles ended up on carrots. This amounts to 15 milligrams of microplastics every cut and around 50 grams yearly, the same as ten plastic credit cards.
“Tire dust” is the source of 78% of the microplastics in the water, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trust.
Because they fall into the water inside the bottle, water bottle tops also add to the problem. While there is no solid scientific proof that microplastics cause cancer, some research has shown that they may be detected in our blood, lungs, and placenta.
Since it is currently difficult to establish a link between microplastics and any damage they may bring to humans, studies investigating this topic have focused on correlation rather than making explicit assertions. Studies examining the effects of microplastics on human health over more extended periods, usually in standardized animal model studies, are necessary to ascertain long-term dangers.
Given the lack of conclusive evidence on the potential harmful effects of plastic cutting boards on human health, the issue arises: should we eliminate them?
According to Dr. Lebeau, microplastics are already present in our daily diets, including processed foods and even filtered water. Furthermore, he recommends considering the benefits and drawbacks of other cutting boards, such as wood, which could seem to be safer at first glance but is porous and might not be well cleaned, hence raising the possibility of food poisoning.
To reduce the likelihood of food poisoning, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests using bamboo cutting boards instead of plastic or wood ones since they are denser and less porous.
It is a good practice to clean all cutting boards properly, emphasizing wooden ones.