A common household cleaning product releases trillions of microplastic fibers A common household cleaning product releases trillions of microplastic fibers

A common household cleaning product releases trillions of microplastic fibers

A common household cleaning product releases trillions of microplastic fibers

Melamine sponges used to clean homes around the world release trillions of microplastics every month, a new study has warned.

Known for their ability to remove even stubborn stains effortlessly, these sponges rely on their distinctive abrasive properties.

However, a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests that the fibers from these cleaning products release trillions of toxic microplastic particles globally every month, which could impact human health.

Sponges are known to be made of a plastic polymer gathered into a soft, lightweight abrasive foam, making them ideal for making exfoliating cleaning products.

But as it wears down with use, the foam breaks down into smaller pieces, releasing microplastic fibers (MPF) into sewer systems with every flush.

These toxic microplastics can be consumed by wildlife and returned to humans via the food chain.

It has been linked to a number of health complications in humans, including immune and endocrine system disorders, as well as several types of cancer.

In the new study, researchers evaluated how quickly melamine foam decomposes and counted how many microplastic fibers it sheds with use.

They repeatedly rubbed foam produced by different brands on metal surfaces, corroding them.

The study found that a single sponge may release more than 6.5 million microplastic fibers per gram of worn sponge.

“Sponge wear can release 6.5 million microplastic fibers (MPF)/g, which may indicate a total global emissions of 4.9 trillion microplastic fibers (MPF) due to sponge consumption,” the researchers said.

They said sponges made with denser foam wear more slowly and produce fewer microplastic fibers.

The researchers then made a rough estimate of how many microplastics make their way into the environment from using these foams by looking at monthly Amazon sales.

They calculated that 1.55 trillion microplastic fibers (MPF) could be released from melamine foam each month.

“The rate and production capacity of plastic microfibers generally increased with increasing metal surface roughness and support density, respectively,” the team added.

The actual amount could be much higher because the analysis only took into account one retail store, the researchers said.

To overcome the environmental toxicity caused by these products, researchers recommend that manufacturers create denser, stiffer, more abrasion-resistant sponges.

They recommend that consumers choose natural cleaning products that do not use plastics.

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