We live today in a time when almost all the products and objects we use come from an industrial factory. But the use of artificial materials such as plastic does not only offer advantages. Plastic can indeed sneak in everywhere, even in our body. In this context, a new article published in the journal Environment International describes a method that makes it possible to measure the concentrations of microplastics in human blood for the first time.
This small study was conducted by scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the results showed that microplastics from outside do indeed end up in our blood. The researchers found a very small amount of microplastics, about the equivalent of one teaspoon per 1000 liters of blood, but it’s enough to worry about the impact on our health.
In 2020, a study had already shown that the human body was riddled with micro-plastics and nano-plastics. These can be found in human organs and tissues, as well as in feces.
A surprising finding
The team tested the blood of 22 people to find five commonly used types of plastic. The researchers found that 17 of the samples (77%) contained small amounts of micro-plastics. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene, and styrene polymers were the most common types of plastic found in blood samples, followed by polymethyl methacrylate. These are plastics commonly found in bottles, shopping bags, food packaging and disposable cutlery.
According to Marja Lamoree, author of the study and ecotoxicologist at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, this study will allow researchers to explore the extent of this pollution and its likely harmful impact on our health.
The effects on our health
The impacts of microplastics on human health are not yet fully defined. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is currently no evidence to justify concern about the presence of microplastics in drinking water. However, this is due to the fact that the information currently available on the subject is limited.
With the increasing number of studies discovering micro-plastics in different parts of the human body, it can be said that there is an urgent need to understand their effects on health.