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Our waterways and oceans are showing increased levels of plastic contamination. These plastics are breaking down into smaller pieces. When one goes to the beach and plays in the surf they often swallow some seawater and thus some amounts of plastics, including Polyethylene.

What are the biochemical pathways or effects of plastic, specifically Polyethylene, in the human body? I am looking for toxicity of both a large amount scenario (plastic bag milkshake) and a small amount (some in ocean water).

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PE is not bothered by acids and there is no way humans have a pathway for it, except that for choking or being obstipated. But neither do bacteria or fungi make a dent in the molecule. That's why it's not degraded and collects in the oceans.

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