Researchers found plastic in humans through this study
No matter where you look, plastic is present in everything and has become a threat to the planet and to all living beings. Yes, including us.
Unfortunately various investigations have begun to find plastic in human beings, it seeps into water, food and even through respiration.
It reaches us in the form of microplastics – very small pieces that are obtained from the degradation of different items such as bottles, tires, cleaning products and more -.
It is estimated that between 2% and 5% of all manufactured plastics end up in the oceans and become microplastics that are swallowed by fish that we later consume as food.
How did they find plastic in humans?
According to the researchers, there is a high probability that microplastics could become lodged in human organs.
To test their technique, they added particles to 47 samples of lung, liver, spleen and kidney tissue obtained from a tissue bank that is used to study neurodegenerative diseases. The results?
Microplastics do have the ability to filter.
The scientists, whose work is being presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, commented that their technique would allow other researchers to determine levels of contamination in human organs worldwide .
It would be naive to believe that there is plastic everywhere but not in us. We are now providing a research platform that will allow us and others to search for what is invisible – these particles are too small for the human eye to see. The health risk can be alarming.
Rolf Halden, scientist at Arizona State University.
Through an analytical method, researchers can identify dozens of types of plastic, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in plastic beverage bottles and polyethylene used in plastic bags, they also found bisphenol A (BPA ), a chemical used to make plastics in all 47 samples.
Substances that damage health
The United States Environmental Protection Agency shared their concern about these results as the substance is a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal studies.
Researchers examined lung, liver, spleen, and kidney tissue, as these organs are likely to be exposed to or accumulate microplastics.
We don't want to be alarmist but it is a concern that these non-biodegradable materials are present everywhere and that can enter and accumulate in human tissues, and we do not yet know the possible health effects.
Varun Kelkar, part of the research team
With the tests, those involved will be able to have a better idea of what is in the tissues, and with it, carry out more epidemiological studies to evaluate the results of human health. That way, we can begin to understand the potential risks.
Another way microplastics emerge
For his part, team member Charles Rolsky shared that in a few decades, we have gone from seeing plastic as a wonderful benefit considering it a threat to the entire planet.
According to him, microplastics are those less than 5 mm in diameter and nanoplastics have a diameter of less than 0.001 mm and are formed largely by the abrasion of larger plastic parts dumped into the environment.
Research also found that exposure to small plastics has been linked to infertility, inflammation, and cancer. In addition, researchers are testing tissues to find microplastics that accumulated over the life of donors.
These tissue bank donors often provide information on their lifestyles, diets, and occupations, this may help in future work to determine the main ways that people are exposed to microplastics.
Work as a team for the benefit of health
The new methodology developed by the team to extract plastics from tissues and analyze them will be shared online so that other researchers can report their results in a standardized way.
This shared resource will help build a plastic exposure database so that we can compare exposures in organs and groups of people across time and geographic space.
Rolf Halden, State University scientist from Arizona.
It was also shared that previous studies have shown that people eat and breathe at least 50,000 particles of microplastic per year and that contamination by microplastics is raining down on city dwellers
In fact, it was found that London has the highest level of four cities analyzed last year. The particles can harbor toxic chemicals and harmful microbes.