The plague of plastics: 24k microplastics are a constant threat to our homes

  • Families have thousands of carpets and other plastic fibers in their homes.
  • An average of 1,414 individual pieces per square-metre were discovered each day 
  • Yesterday’s revelation revealed that we inhale up to 7,000 microplastics per day inside our homes.

A study found that living in our rooms can lead to exposure of more than 24,000 microplastic particles per day.

Families are often filled with thousands upon thousands of plastic fibers that are most likely to be found in clothing, carpets and curtains.

Researchers measured the microplastic level in 20 British living room and found an average of 1,414 particles per square metre each day.

Family homes are filled with thousands of tiny plastic fibres, which are likely to come from clothing, curtains and carpets

Families have thousands of plastic fibers in their homes, most likely from clothes, carpets and curtains.

An average living room measures 17 square meters. This could mean that more than 24,000 microplastic particles can be found in the space within 24 hours.

According to the University of Hull’s study, more research should be done on whether or not people are more at home, and what household activities like vacuuming release more plastics into carpets and soft furnishings. 

The Daily Mail reported yesterday that microplastic particles can be found in homes up to 7,000 times per day. 

Samples were taken from the household of a reporter for ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

The new study, in the Atmospheric Environment journal, looked at 20 homes in Hull and the Humber and found microplastics in every living room – and in 98 per cent of samples over six months.

Senior author Professor Jeanette Rotchell, from the University of Hull, said: ‘Now so many people are working from home, these levels of microplastics in the living environment may be even more concerning.’ 

Dr Fay Couceiro using the new MicroRamen technology to test for microplastic contamination

Microplastic contamination is being tested by Dr Fay Couceiro with the MicroRamen technology

A typical living room is around 17 sq m, so that space alone could contain more than 24,000 microplastic particles over 24 hours

An average living room measures 17 m2. This could mean that more than 24,000 microplastic particles can be found in the space within 24 hours.

For a week, researchers placed a glass cup in each of the homes’ living rooms between July 2019 and December 2019, for approximately $70.

Nearly a quarter (25%) of all particles found in the rooms contained microplastics.

These were 90% made out of PET plastic, which is flexible plastic used to make drinking containers and cleaning product containers. 

Other materials included nylon and plastic bags that could also have been used in textiles.

Microplastics’ effect on human health is unknown, but there are concerns about how they act in the body when we breathe them in. 


What is microplastics?

You can find microplastics in many places, like synthetic clothing, packaging plastic and bags, make-up and paint and larger pieces that are broken down. Also you might find fragments of old car tyres. Microplastics have a diameter less than five millimetres. Nanoplastics can be less than 1/10th of a meter in diameter.

Are they located?

The nanoplastics can be easily carried in the air because they are tiny and light. You can find them in all kinds of foods and drinks, such as beer, wine, soda, salt, and seafood.

How do they get on?

Nine billion tonnes of plastic have been produced, but only 9 percent of them has been recycled. The majority of plastic has been recycled or disposed off into the ocean, buried, or burnt.

They are they dangerous?

Human vital organs like the brain, womb, and lungs are becoming more vulnerable to microplastics. Although the science of microplastics is still in its infancy and not yet fully understood, it has been suggested that they could potentially worsen or cause respiratory problems. They have been detected in blood and the stomach. Researchers suspect that their presence could worsen inflammation.

Are they able to handle dangerous chemicals?

The transport of pollutants and chemicals can be carried by plastic particles. They can be endocrine disrupting chemical, which may cause disruptions in fertility, delayed brain development in children, immune disorders and hormone-related cancers.