- Adrian Lepiten
Study Finds Microplastics Circulating in the Human Body
Photo Source: Getty Images
Microplastics are pervasive contaminants that may be found almost anywhere on the planet. According to a research article published last year, an average of 132 small bits of plastic are showered down on each square meter of public land in the western United States, each year! Microplastics have also even been identified in the snow and waters of the Arctic.
This year, scientists from the Netherlands published a research paper in Environment International. Which states that microplastics have been found in human blood for the first time. The researchers surveyed 22 participants and discovered microplastics are present in the blood of 17 or about 77 percent of the members. Here’s what we know so far, let’s read the Study Finds Microplastics Circulating in the Human Body.
A study searched for plastics with sizes ranging from 700 to 500,000 nanometers, in blood samples taken from anonymous, healthy adults. According to Aathira Perinchery of The Wire Science, 700 nm is around 140 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Half of the blood samples had PET plastic residues, which are extensively used in the production of drink bottles. More than a third contained polystyrene, which is commonly used in disposable food containers and a range of other items.
According to Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, this is the first time we have actually been able to detect and quantify such microplastics in human blood.
Vethaak added that there are a number of factors that contribute to humans ingesting microplastics that his study did not identify. such as particles larger than the diameter of the needle used to collect the sample.
“This is proof that we have plastics in our body—and we shouldn’t,” he told AFP, calling for further research to investigate how it could be impacting health.
The study said that microplastics could have entered the body by a number of routes, including air, water, and food. As well as toothpastes, lip glosses, and tattoo ink.