Study explores microplastic content in urban grown lettuces

In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, researchers examined the level of microplastics (MPs) among lettuces cultivated in urban gardens in Lisbon and compared them to those grown in rural areas and those purchased from supermarkets.

Vegetable gardens in urban locations can be a sustainable solution for urban residents, but they are often vulnerable to pollution as cities are pollution hotspots due to sources such as traffic.

Microplastics, small plastic pieces of less than 5 mm in size, pose a significant health issue because of their environmental contamination. Given the high traffic levels in urban areas, hypothesized to be a key contributor to increased MP levels in urban gardens, it is crucial to evaluate MP bio-accumulation among vegetables grown in urban gardens.

This will help to assess consumer exposure and probable intake of contaminants through the food chain. In the present study, researchers assessed the level of MPs acquired by such products to determine the possible exposure of citizens to MPs through the dietary intake of lettuce grown in vegetable gardens situated in urban regions.

Smooth leaf lettuce (SLL) and beaded leaf lettuce (BLL), two lettuce varieties widely grown in urban vegetable gardens, were studied.


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