Could microplastics in human blood pose a health risk?

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Scientists have been concerned about possible harm from microplastics for many years.


(Katherine Lang/ Medical News Today) — Plastics are everywhere. Although, in theory, much of it can be recycled, a lot of it ends up in landfills, or worse, in watercourses and marine ecosystems.

Many people are too familiar with distressing images of turtles and dolphins trapped in plastic bags or fishing nets. But there is a less visible effect — microplastics, tiny plastic particles formed when plastics break down and during commercial product manufacturing.

Several studies have found evidence of plastics in the human body. One revelation came after scientists detected plastic additives such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates in human urine. Researchers have also found microplastics in human feces. However, until now, no published study has directly examined the effect of these tiny plastic specks on human health.

In a new study published in the journal Environment International, researchers in the Netherlands developed a method of analyzing human blood to detect microplastics. They then used this method to analyze blood from 22 healthy volunteers. (…)

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