Hemp – Combating Microplastics
BlogBy Dermot Moore
In our homes, we depend on different materials to keep us comfortable. Unfortunately, many of these materials contain plastic. Much of our clothing, household fabrics, and food and drink packaging contains plastic. A study at the University of Portsmouth found that we are inhaling around 700 to 2000 microplastics daily. This terrifying statistic has implications for both our health and the environment.
We are at much greater risk from microplastics indoors than out. This risk is due to microplastics accumulating in dust. Any disturbance and we inhale some of these particles. In addition, the dust containing microplastics can land on our food. So between inhalation and eating, our lungs and digestive system are at risk. And it is not solely the microplastics which are harmful. Organisms colonise these particles, some of which are pathogenic to humans.
Interestingly, natural fibres do not bind to these particular pathogens to the same extent. Research is still necessary to see how dangerous microplastics genuinely are. Unfortunately, this uncertainty contributes to anxiety around our health.
Home and Beyond
The greatest microplastic escapes come from cleaning our clothes. The same Portsmouth University study revealed;
“if every household in the UK did two washes (with microplastic containing clothing) like this a week, it would add up to the equivalent of over 20 million pairs of socks being washed down our drains every year”
These plastics enter our seas and harm aquatic life, risking harm to human health from ingesting fish.
Protection and Comfort
Natural fabrics reduce exposure to microplastics. In addition, natural fabrics are more breathable and moisture permeable.
Is Hemp The Solution?
Hemp improves comfort, health and the environment’s wellbeing. Wearing hemp material reduces the chance of falling ill from bacterial and microbial infection. Hemp is particularly effective against infection as it contains cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are effective at preventing bacterial harm to our bodies. This quality puts hemp above many other natural fibres in terms of protective qualities.
Enduring and Cost Effective
Not only does hemp release fewer harmful particles, but it also releases fewer micro-particles altogether. Hemp’s durability is unquestionable. For centuries it was the primary material for rope and sails in the shipping industry, tents for militaries and paper. Today, hemp fabric makes for strong upholstery and offers excellent UV resistance. Hemp’s durability protects from decolouration and disintegration. The fact that it’s biodegradable and lasts a long time shows that hemp can also reduce our cost of living.
Hemp may have fallen by the wayside in recent history, but its past successes are once more recognised. Hopefully, hemp and other sustainable materials will become an integral part of future home design.
- Environmentally friendly
- Benefit health
Find out about our hemp products for your home.