LINCOLN, Neb. (WTVO) — Microwaving food or drink may release “massive quantities of minuscule plastic particles” from containers, according to a new study from the University of Nebraska.

The study, lead by doctoral student Kazi Albab Hussain, experimented with two kinds of plastic baby food containers — one made from polypropylene and the other of polyethylene.

The containers were filled with either water or a diluted acid solution that simulates dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and microwaved at full power for three minutes.

An analysis of the liquid after microwaving revealed some containers could release as many as 4.22 million microplastic particles (pieces less than 0.2 inches in length), and over 2 billion smaller pieces, called nanoparticles, from only one square centimeter of the container.

The study also found that plastic particles could be released into products stored in plastic containers for over 6 months.

“Just as we understand the impact of calories and nutrients on our health, knowing the extent of plastic particle ingestion is crucial in understanding the potential harm they may cause,” said the study’s lead author Kazi Albab Hussain. “Many studies, including ours, are demonstrating that the toxicity of micro- and nanoplastics is highly linked to the level of exposure.”

Though there is no scientific consensus on health impact of micro and nanoplastics, studies exposing human cells to microplastics have elicited adverse health effects, according to the National Center for Biotechnology information.