Microplastics used in food packaging and paint have been found for the first time in the human heart.
Les particles, which are less than five millimeters in length, are discharged into the air, water, and food around us by single-use plastics such as bottles and food packaging.
There were microplastics in all blood samples and heart tissue. There is speculation that they were inhaled or consumed. Plastics can adhere to the outer membrane of red blood cells in the circulation, which may impair their ability to transport oxygen.
Infertility issues have also been linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. Plastic particulates cannot be broken down by the body’s cells, leading to significant inflammation.
According to a recent study, the average individual inhales enough microplastics to fill a credit card every week. After surgery, the blood samples of the study participants contained a greater variety of smaller plastic particles, suggesting that some microplastics were introduced into the body.
Five types of heart tissue contained nine forms of plastic. Using laser and infrared imaging, tens to thousands of microplastic particles were discovered, but the quantities varied between patients.
Implications for Medical Procedures and Human Health
Researchers discovered microscopic particles of poly(methyl methacrylate), a plastic commonly used as a shatter-resistant alternative to glass, in three separate areas of the heart, which ‘cannot be attributed to accidental exposure during surgery’, as stated by the researchers.
Polyethylene terephthalate, which is used in clothing and food containers, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is widely used in window frames, drainage pipelines, paint, and more, were also discovered.
In addition, their research, which was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, indicates that invasive medical procedures, such as heart surgery, are a neglected entry point for plastics into the body.
Microplastics have been discovered in some of the world’s most desolate regions, including the Alps, Antarctica, and the ‘death zone’ of Mount Everest.
Scientists have previously discovered microplastics in the lungs, nerves, and blood of living and deceased humans, but it is still debatable how much plastic enters our bodies.
The particles can infiltrate the body via the mouth, nose, and other openings. There are concerns they may result in perilously underweight newborns.