The overall aim of The PLANET Project: Plastics in Pregnancy (phase one) is to evaluate and optimise the ORIGINS sample collections for plastic-related research.
Global production of plastic is increasing dramatically and currently exceeds 320 million tonnes per year. As a result, plastic products and chemicals used in plastics are increasingly present in our environments, including water, food and air.
The effects of plastic exposure on adult, infant and child health require investigation.
What is The PLANET Project - Phase One?
The PLANET Project will be looking at the effects of plastic exposure during pregnancy on health outcomes, and this phase one study is the first step of the project. We will be investigating the best way to collect and store our ORIGINS samples, ensuring they can be used effectively for high quality plastic research projects.
Plastic exposure during pregnancy can be measured in maternal urine and in meconium (newborn infants’ first poo samples) but we have to be careful when collecting samples to avoid plastic contamination from jars and gloves, as contamination makes our results unreliable.
We also need to understand how plastic levels vary across a day and between days, so we can make sure we are using comparable samples for our research.
Who can participate?
The PLANET Project has designed some very careful collection methods for urine and meconium samples, and we are looking for pregnant women interested in helping us test these methods. Specifically, we are looking for:
Active ORIGINS participants who are around 34-weeks pregnant and are non-smokers
Participant must be willing to use the provided nappies, baby wipes and nappy bags for baby's first 6-10 nappy changes and not use any creams or powders on the baby while they are collecting samples.
What does participation involve?
In addition to providint the usual samples to ORIGINS, we will ask you to:
At 36-weeks pregnant - provide five additional urine samples: six urine samples in total at the 36-week ORIGINS timepoint
Following the birth of your baby - collect 6-10 of your baby's nappies with meconium for the study.
Upon receipt of your urine and meconium samples, you will receive a $50 e-voucher as a thank you for helping the PLANET Project improve sample collections.
The next phases of the project will be designed based on the results of this first phase. We may request your involvement in the next phases of the study upon completion of this one.
This study is being conducted by researchers from The ORIGINS Project (Telethon Kids Institute, Joondalup Health Campus) and Minderoo Foundation.