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Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful? – Nature.com

Scientists are rushing to study the tiny plastic specks that are in marine animals — and in us.

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Dunzhu Li used to microwave his lunch each day in a plastic container. But Li, an environmental engineer, stopped when he and his colleagues made a disturbing discovery: plastic food containers shed huge numbers of tiny specks called microplastics into hot water. We were shocked, Li says. Kettles and baby bottles also shed microplastics, Li and other researchers, at Trinity College Dublin, reported last October1. If parents prepare baby formula by shaking it up in hot water inside a plastic bottle,…

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