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Polypropylene and polyethylene cutting boards would promote the production of plastic microparticles… which could end up in food.

What do you cut your vegetables on? If you are used to using a plastic cutting board, be careful: according to a new study by researchers from North Dakota State University (in the United States), cutting boards made of polyethylene and polypropylene could produce plastic microparticles when used regularly.

The American researchers carried out several experiments with 5 volunteers who were asked to cut carrots with a knife on polyethylene and polypropylene cutting boards.

The scientists were thus able to calculate that regularly using a polyethylene cutting board could lead to the release of 14 to 71 million microparticles each year; for polypropylene cutting boards, 79 million microparticles would be produced annually.

Plastic and wooden cutting boards can potentially contaminate food

Problem: some of these micro-fragments of plastic (whether polyethylene or polypropylene) could, according to the researchers, end up in food and be ingested. With potential toxicity to the body…

Is it safer to prepare your vegetables on a wooden cutting board? Not sure. According to the researchers (who also carried out experiments with wooden cutting boards), this tool would also be responsible for the emission of microparticles of wood; these would even be 4 to 22 times (!) more numerous than the plastic microparticles!

To limit the contamination of food by micro-fragments of plastic or wood as much as possible, perhaps it is necessary to turn to a cutting board made of tempered glass, marble or even rubber…

Source :Environmental Science & Technology

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