Scientists find microplastic particles in human blood for the first time

  • 2022-04-02
The finding suggests that the particles can travel around the body and may stay in organs, the report said. While its health effects are unclear, researchers are concerned that microplastics can cause damage to human cells in the lab, while air pollution particles have been shown to enter the body and cause premature premature death in millions of people each year. die.
The Guardian pointed out that microplastics are now polluting the entire planet, as huge amounts of plastic waste are dumped into the environment, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. Scientists already know that the human body ingests these tiny particles through food and water, and that these particles are also found in the feces of infants and adults.
According to the report, scientists analyzed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors, all healthy adults, and 17 of them had plastic particles in their samples. In addition, half of the samples also contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in beverage bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, which is used to package food and other products. A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, which is what plastic tote bags are made of.
One of the study's authors, Professor Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, said: "Our study shows, for the first time, the presence of polymer particles in human blood - a breakthrough Results. But we have to expand the study, increase the sample size, assess the number of polymers, etc." He said that further studies are already underway by many groups.

"The concern is of course justified," Vitak told the Guardian. "The particles are there and transported throughout the body." Previous research, he said, had shown that the level of microplastics in infant feces was 10% that of adults. Infants fed plastic bottles swallow millions of microplastics every day.

In the new study, published in the journal Environment International, the researchers adapted existing detection techniques to detect and analyze particles as small as 0.0007mm, the report said.

Vitak acknowledges that the amount and type of microplastics varies widely between different blood samples, but he calls it a pioneering study and more work is needed now.

The Guardian mentioned that a recent study found that microplastic particles can attach to the outer membrane of red blood cells, potentially limiting their ability to transport oxygen. Such particles are also found in the placenta of pregnant women, and in pregnant mice, they travel rapidly through the lungs to the heart, brain and other organs of the fetus.

In another review paper published on Tuesday, Vitak collaborated with others to assess cancer risk and concluded: "We urgently need to study in greater detail how micro- and nanoplastics affect the structure and processes of the human body, and whether they and How to transform cells and induce carcinogenesis, especially with the exponential increase in plastic production. This question is becoming more pressing every day.”

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