The Plastic Exposure Reduction Transforms Health (PERTH) Trial  

Are you curious about your exposure to plastic chemicals? 

Reducing our exposure to plastics could transform our health. Australians are exposed to chemicals found in plastics every day, often without noticing. They can be found in the products we put on our skin, the clothing we wear, the air we breathe and the food we eat and more, but not enough is known about the impacts on health.

Professor Michaela Lucas, from The University of Western Australia’s Medical School, is leading a research trial looking at the levels of plastic chemicals in the bodies of adults, and testing whether exposure can reduce by changing what we eat and what personal care products we use.

We are seeking participants to be involved in the PERTH Trial and help us learn more about plastic chemicals and impacts on our health.

Do we know if plastic chemicals are a threat to human health?

Rising rates of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions coincide with increasing use of plastic-associated chemicals like BPA and phthalates in our environment and everyday lives.

These chemicals are considered hazardous because they disrupt our hormone system and so are called ‘endocrine disrupters’ but research in this field is limited.

We need high quality research in Australia! Our approach:

Firstly, we need to find the common sources of exposure to plastic chemicals in Western Australia, and examine how much of these chemicals we consume, process, and eventually excrete from our bodies.

Once we understand how much we are exposed to, the next step is to avoid the known sources of these plastic chemicals, and see if there is a reduction of plastic chemicals in our urine and stool.

Finally, blood tests taken during the study will help identify any markers of inflammation associated with plastic chemicals that can cause chronic diseases.

Trial objectives

To detect the levels of plastic chemicals in the body

To identify possible sources of exposure to plastic chemicals in the Perth population

To investigate if reducing exposure to plastic chemicals results in decreased excretion from the body

 

Can you help The PERTH Trial?

If you are aged between 18 and 60 years old and living in the Perth Metropolitan area, you may be eligible to participate in the study.

Express your interest to be involved or to learn more, contact perthtrial@uwa.edu.au

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Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to participate in the trial?

If you are aged between 18 and 60 years old and live in the Perth Metropolitan area you may be eligible. We encourage you to complete the expression of interest form by clicking on the link above. An email will then be sent to you to complete a few pre-screening questions to confirm your suitability for health screening followed by the study information sheet.

If I participate in the trial, what activities will I be involved in?
  • You will attend two appointments lasting about 2 hours at the Harry Perkins Institute on the QEII Campus over a period of one week.
  • At the first appointment, the study doctor will discuss what the study involves, obtain your consent to participate in the study, and proceed with a thorough health check-up.
  • The next morning, at your local Clinipath pathology clinic, you will have a fasting blood test to check your general health.
  • The next day we will phone you with the results and confirm your second appointment.
  • The day before your second appointment we will ask you to self-collect a urine and stool sample, and a nasal rinse.
  • At the second appointment, you will have another blood test, complete some questionnaires, and participate in an interview with a qualified dietitian.
  • On the Sunday following your second appointment, you will self-collect another urine and stool sample, and a nasal rinse.
  • The next day, Monday you will have a telephone appointment with the study dietitian.
  • Within 2 weeks we will send you a participant satisfaction survey to complete.

That’s it!

What are the study assessments?

On-line questionnaires will ask you about potential exposure to plastic chemicals through diet, lifestyle, and occupation.

A qualified dietitian will interview you about your diet and food preparation practices.

You will be asked to self-collect urine, stool, and nasal washing samples at home using the kits we provide you.

Will I have access to my individual results?

We will provide you with a hard copy of results of your health screening blood tests at your second visit.

You will not receive results of the research tests individually because it is not known what the clinical importance of the results are to individuals until they have been analysed within a larger group of people.

The results of the study will be in the public domain and information on how to access the reports and manuscripts will be posted on the study website.

How do I get to my booked clinic appointment?

We are located at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research on the QEII Campus at 12 Verdun Street, Nedlands WA 6009. There is paid public parking available on site and the Institute is easy to get to with public transport.

Travel and parking instructions for participants

I don’t live within the Perth Metro region, am I still able to participate?

At this stage, the study is confined to the Metropolitan area and surrounds.

Who is funding the trial?

The Minderoo Foundation has awarded a research grant to the University of Western Australia.

Find out more about the Foundation's Plastics initiative and human health focus.

Is there any reimbursement for my time and travel costs?

You will be given $20.00 for parking expenses and a $50.00 gift voucher.

How long does the trial last?

Your participation in the trial will be over a period of two weeks. Following enrolment, you may also be offered an option to participate in a short week-long intervention trial commencing in 2023.

Further reading

Learn more

To learn more about the PERTH Trial, email us at perthtrial@uwa.edu.au or contact a member of the clinical research team:

Sharon (Clinical Trial Coordinator)
P: (08) 6151 0954
M: 0403 262 229
Claire (Dietetics Research Officer)
M: 0403 262 214
Andrea (Dietetics Research Officer)
M: 0403 262 306

We are located at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands WA 6009

The University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this study (Approval ID: 2021/ET001118)

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