Microplastics detected in human organs for first time
Micro- and nanoplastics have been found for the first time in human organs and tissues, according to a report presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.
Microplastics and nanoplastics are plastic fragments <5 mm in diameter and <0.050 mm in diameter, respectively.
The health effects from chemicals in plastics are not known but could impact a number of things from diabetes to obesity.
Researchers used flow cytometry and mass spectrometry methods on samples from lungs, liver, adipose tissue, spleen and kidneys to detect nano/microplastics from tissues. Plastic contamination was found in all samples.
“You can find plastics contaminating the environment at virtually every location on the globe, and in a few short decades, we’ve gone from seeing plastic as a wonderful benefit to considering it a threat,” says Charles Rolsky, PhD, who presented the work at the meeting. “There’s evidence that plastic is making its way into our bodies, but very few studies have looked for it there. And at this point, we don’t know whether this plastic is just a nuisance or whether it represents a human health hazard.”
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