Microplastics have been found in human blood for the first time, raising concerns that the particles could also make their way into human organs.
The mostly invisible plastic fragments have already been discovered almost everywhere else on Earth - from the deepest oceans to the highest peaks, including the air, soil, and our food system.
Photo via Sky News
According to a Dutch study published in the Environment International journal, microplastics were discovered in nearly 80% of blood samples from 22 anonymous, healthy participants.
Polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic, commonly used to produce drink bottles was found in half of the blood samples, while polystyrene, which is widely used in disposable food containers and other products was found in more than a third.
Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam said: “This is the first time we’ve actually been able to detect and quantify, such as microplastics in human blood.
“This shows that we have plastics in our bodies - and we shouldn’t.”
Photo via The Brussels Times
He also urges for more investigation into the health implications, “What’s going on inside your body? Is it possible to get rid of it? Is it retained in specific organs, accumulating, or can it potentially cross the blood-brain barrier?”
According to the study, microplastics might have entered the body by a variety of means including air, water, and food as well as toothpaste, lip glosses, and tattoo ink.
The study also revealed that it is scientifically feasible that plastic particles could be transferred to the organs via the bloodstream.
Vethaak also speculated that there could be other types of microplastics in the blood that his study missed, such as particles larger than the diameter of the needle used to draw the sample.
Guys, this is why reducing the usage of single-use plastics is necessary to help our environment.
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat