Scientists detect microplastics in human blood
In a breakthrough discovery, microplastics have been detected in human blood, as scientists are still alarmed about the unknown effects of these particles.
Scientists have found microplastic pollution in human blood for the first time, reported The Guardian.
A new research published in the journal Environment International detected microplastics in almost 80% of tested people for the study, the newspaper highlighted.
Blood samples from 22 healthy adult donors were analyzed by the scientists. The results showed plastic particles in 17 of these samples.
According to The Guardian, the results also revealed that "half the samples contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in drinks bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, used for packaging food and other products."
In addition, "A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, from which plastic carrier bags are made."
Although the effects of this discovery are yet unknown, the study noted that microplastics can travel around the human body and may stick in organs.
The Guardian pointed out that researchers, "as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year."
Previous research has already shown that humans consume microplastics through food, water, and even air.
“Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier?” And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out," questioned Professor Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
For his part, Jo Royle, founder of the charity Common Seas, warned that “Plastic production is set to double by 2040."
“We have a right to know what all this plastic is doing to our bodies,” he stressed.
The Guardian mentioned that "a recent study found that microplastics can latch on to the outer membranes of red blood cells and may limit their ability to transport oxygen."
"The particles have also been found in the placentas of pregnant women, and in pregnant rats they pass rapidly through the lungs into the hearts, brains and other organs of the foetuses," the newspaper added.