Scientists have detected negative health effects of microplastics in the human body
In recent months, scientists have discovered findings of microplastics in the bloodstream and the concerning health effects of microplastics. Their research has proved that our natural air inhalation and food consumption have led to these small particles entering our bodies.
The discovery confirms that the particles can move throughout the body and stay in our organs. Scientists are concerned because the health effects of microplastics have been shown to harm human cells. On top of that, air pollution particles already cause millions of premature deaths each year.
We’re already aware that microplastics have now contaminated the entire world as a result of plastic trash being deposited in the environment. The harmful particles are all around us—the air we breathe, the dust on our floors, and the food we buy at the grocery. Microplastics in the bloodstream have been detected in some of the most alarming places, and even in the feces of both babies and adults.
Kurunthachalam Kannan, a professor in the department of pediatrics at the NYU School of Medicine, discovered that newborns’ exposure to microplastics was nearly 15 times that of adults. Kannan believes that babies and other children are exposed to significantly higher levels of microplastics because they crawl on potentially microplastic-laden floors, eat almost everything, and rely on sippy cups, teethers, and toys all made of plastic.
Microplastics have been linked to inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, and cell damage in studies using animals or cells produced in labs. However, according to research, several of these investigations used extremely concentrated exposures or commercial-quality plastic. Another recent study discovered microplastics in the bloodstream and how they can cling to the outer membranes of red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen.
More research needs to be done to fully understand the health effects of microplastics and how they may transform cells within our body and induce carcinogenesis. It’s safe to say there’s never been a better time than now to be more cautious of keeping our environments clean.