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WASHINGTON (August 19, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council released the following statement regarding inaccuracies in recent media coverage of microplastics research:

“A recent article by The Guardian and subsequent media coverage incorrectly reported that microplastics were found in random samples of human organs. The truth is that researchers from Arizona State University intentionally added microplastics to human tissue samples as a part of their efforts to develop new detection methods. While some of the stories were corrected, the false information has already spread across the internet and social media. Moreover, these data have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal and thus constitute preliminary results that need additional vetting. 

“ACC is committed to helping people better understand what we know, based on science, about microplastics and their potential effects on people’s health and the environment. While current scientific research doesn’t support a conclusion that there is a human health concern from microplastics, ACC and its members are helping to lead the way to learn more about the sources and any potential risks that microplastics may pose to people and the environment.

“Although there is more to learn about the sources of microplastics in the environment, one of the best ways to address potential concerns is to avoid having plastic waste enter the environment in the first place, and the plastics industry is leading global efforts to develop and deploy the innovative technology and solid waste infrastructure solutions to make this happen.

“Through initiatives such as the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and more, business community is actively deploying investments to support forward-looking, achievable goals that strengthen our plastic waste and recycling infrastructure. Additionally, ACC’s Plastics Division has established a goal to reuse, recycle or recover all plastic packaging in the U.S. by 2040 and make all U.S. plastic packaging recyclable or recoverable by 2030.”

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