A recent study has found that contact lenses can 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 amount of microplastics present in six different brands of contact lenses. The lenses were stored in water and exposed to simulated sunlight for the equivalent of 30 or 90 days, with water samples analysed after each exposure. The study found that lenses exposed to sunlight shed tiny fragments of plastic, with shorter lifespan lenses shedding the most microplastics. The health impact of direct exposure to microplastics in the eyes is currently unknown, but the researchers are calling for further studies in this area.

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