Microplastics have been found in human blood for the first time, and scientists warn that they could also be in organs.
The tiny pieces of mostly invisible plastic have already been found all over the world, from the deepest oceans to the highest mountains.
A study published in the Environment International journal on Thursday examined blood samples from 22 anonymous, healthy volunteers and found microplastics in nearly 80 percent of them.
Half of the blood samples had traces of plastic used to make drink bottles, while more than a third had plastic used for disposable food containers and many other products.
Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said that this is the first time they have been able to detect and quantify microplastics in human blood.
This is proof that we have plastic in our body, and we shouldn't, he told Agence France-Presse.
Where is it going in your body? Is it possible to eliminate it? Excreted? Is it retained in certain organs, accumulating, or is it able to pass the blood-brain barrier?
The study said that the microplastics could have entered the body through a number of routes, including air, water, and food.
Plastic particles may be transported to organs via the bloodstream, according to the study.
There could be other types of microplastics in blood, for example, it could not detect particles larger than the diameter of the needle used to take the sample, according to Vethaak.
The study was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development as well as Common Seas, a UK-based group aimed at reducing plastic pollution.
There was a study that proved there was microplastics in blood.
She told the Science Media Center that the study contributes to the evidence that plastic particles have not just entered the environment, but are entering our bodies as well.
Despite the small sample size and lack of data on the exposure level of participants, she felt the study was robust and will stand up to scrutiny.
Further research was called for by her.
After all blood links all the organs of our body and if plastic is there, it could be anywhere in us.More information: Heather A. Leslie et al, Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood, Environment International (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2022.107199 Journal information: Environment International
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