Microplastics in Human Blood

Context:

• A study by researchers from The Netherlands has examined blood samples of 22 persons, all anonymous donors and healthy adults, and found plastic particles in 17 of them.

What are micro plastics?

• Microplastics are fragments of any type of plastic less than 5 mm in length, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Chemicals Agency.

What does the report say?

• The study found that 77% of tested people (17 of the 22 persons) carried various amounts of microplastics above the limit of quantification.
• In 50% of the samples, the researchers detected PET particles.
• In 36%, they found presence of polystyrene. 23% of polyethylene and 5% of poly(methyl methylacrylate) were also found.
• However, traces of poly propylene were not detected.
• They found in each donor, on average, 1.6 microgram of plastic particles per milli litre of blood sample.

Importance of the study:

• This research brings in awareness that micro plastics are causing significant damages to human health.
• This type of research will give a boost to further research into detecting the plastics.
• It is not yet clear if these microplastics can cross over from the blood stream to deposit in organs and cause diseases.
• The authors point out that the human placenta has shown to be permeable to tiny particles of polystyrene.

Source: THE HINDU.

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