Study finds microplastics in human blood for first time

Study finds microplastics in human blood for first time

By Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT #Health

Experts call study results ‘alarming,’ say people are breathing them in

‘Alarming’ research has found plastics in human blood for the first time.

Researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands tested the blood of 22 people for five types of plastic: polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

A quantifiable amount of plastic particles was found in the blood of 17 of those 22 participants.

The scientists found PET was most commonly found. PET is the chemical name for polyester. PET is a clear, strong and lightweight plastic that is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, especially convenience-size soft drinks, juices and water.

The next most common was polystyrene, which you probably know better in its expanded form — sytrofoam. When combined with colorants, additives or other plastics, however, polystyrene is used to make appliances, electronics, automobile parts, toys, gardening pots and more.

Third was polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bags.

PET was found in the bloodstream of 50% of those tested, while polystyrene was present in 36%.

Dick Vethaak, professor of ecotoxicology and water quality and health at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, told the Independent the findings were “certainly alarming because it shows that people apparently ingest or inhale so much plastic that it can be found in the bloodstream.”

The study did not measure how much plastic was present in bloodstreams, however.

“How much is too much?” Vethaak asked. ”We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out. As our exposure to plastic particles increases, we have a right to know what it’s doing to our bodies.”

The research is published in the journal Environment International.

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By Troy Warren

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