Scientists have encountered microplastics in human blood for the first time. These tiny particles were found in almost 80% of the blood samples tested. According to the data of the environmental organization Plastic Oceans, 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced every year. Although these wastes are not biodegradable, they break down into smaller pieces called microplastics (less than 5 millimeters).
Where Is Microplastic Found?
Research says that these invisible pollutants of the environment are in many products we use, such as tea, salt, seafood, honey, sugar, beer, vegetables, soft drinks, bottled water. With this; points out that it is found everywhere from our organs to the placentas of babies in the womb.
Are Microplastics Harmful to Human Health?
Science is still looking for an answer to the question of what is the risk of microplastics for human health. However, experts warn that “the lack of evidence is not proof that there is no harm”. For example, a study in the laboratory last year showed that microplastics can harm human cells. However, since it is not known how long the microplastics remain before they are excreted from the body, the effect on human health could not be clearly demonstrated.
What Do Experts Think?
The latest finding of microplastics showed that they can move around the body and settle in organs. For the study, the scientists analyzed blood samples from 22 healthy adults and found plastic particles in 17 of them. The study, published in the journal Environment International, found pet plastic commonly used in beverage bottles in half of the samples, and polystyrene, which is used to package food and other products in a third of the samples.
A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bags. Ecotoxicologist Prof. from Vrije University Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Dick Vethaak noted that his work is the first indication that polymer particles are present in human blood. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Prof. “The particles are floating there in our bodies,” said Vethaak, noting that the results were alarming. “The real question is what happens in our body,” said Prof. Vethaak continued his words as follows: “Are the microplastic particles retained in the body? For example, does it cross the blood-brain barrier and move to certain organs? Are the levels in question high enough to trigger the disease? More research is urgently needed before we can find out.”