Microplastics first found in human blood

Microplastics first found in human blood

The results of the latest study looking for microplastic pollutants in human tissues should not come as a surprise by now. Virtually no place on Earth is free from polymer fog, after all, from the highest of mountains to our innermost organs.

However, knowing that it permeates our own blood brings a new awareness of how much plastic waste have become an expanding ecological problem. Researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam University Medical Center analyzed blood samples from 22 healthy anonymous donors for traces of common synthetic polymers over 700 nanometers in diameter.

After the team has Going to great lengths to keep their equipment free of contaminants and test the background levels of the plastic, two different methods of identifying the chemical composition and masses of particles found evidence of different plastic species in 17 of the samples.

Although exact combinations varied between samples, microplastics included polyethylene terephthalate (PET), commonly used in clothing and beverage bottles, and styrene polymers, often used in vehicle parts, carpets and food containers. On average, 1.6 micrograms of plastic material was measured for every milliliter of blood, with the highest concentration just over 7 micrograms.

If it is the dose that produces a poison, it is possible that we could cross a line at some point where relatively harmless traces of styrene and PET could start to have some alarming effects on the way our cells grow. Especially during development. "We also know in general that infants and young children are more vulnerable to exposure to chemicals and particles," explained Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, to Damian Carrington of the Guardian. "This worries me a lot."

Bearing in mind the small number of volunteers, it is further proof that the dust produced by our synthetic world is not completely filtered by our lungs and intestines. There is also the question of whether the plastics float freely in the plasma or have been swallowed up by white blood cells. Each scenario would have ramifications on how particles move and which body systems they might affect the most. Much more research on larger and more diverse groups will be needed to map how and where microplastics spread and accumulate in humans and how our bodies eventually discard them.

Powered by Blogger.