A new study has found that contact lenses may shed microplastics when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time. Researchers from the universities of Nanjing and Hohai used an automated system to quantify the number of microplastics in six different types of contact lenses from various brands and lifespans. The lenses were stored in water and exposed to simulated sunlight for the equivalent of 30 or 90 days, with water samples analysed afterwards. The researchers found that lenses exposed to 90 days of sunlight shed the greatest amount of microplastics, with shorter lifespan lenses shedding the most. While the health impact is unclear, the researchers say their findings highlight the need for further studies in this area.

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