Home Sciences Microplastics detected for the first time in human blood

Microplastics detected for the first time in human blood


A Dutch study was able to verify for the first time, but with a small sample, the presence of microplastics in human blooda discovery that raises questions about a possible penetration of these particles in the organs.

The authors of the study, published Thursday in Environment International, analyzed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors, all volunteers in good health. discovered microplastics in 17 of them.

Half of the samples contained traces of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), one of the most widely used plastics in the world, particularly in the manufacture of bottles and polyester fibers. More than a third had polystyrene, used among other things for food packaging, and a fourth polyethylene.

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“For the first time we were able to detect and quantify” these microplastics in human blood, said Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at the Free University of Amsterdam. “This proof that we have plastic in our body, and we shouldn’t“, he told AFP.

How the particles affect

According to the study, the microplastics detected could enter the body by multiple routes: aerial, aquatic or through food, or hygiene and cosmetic products.

“It is scientifically probable that blood particles can be carried to organs via the blood system,” its authors noted.

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This study was funded by the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development and by Common Seas, a UK-based environmental NGO that seeks to reduce plastic pollution.

For Alice Horton, a specialist in anthropogenic pollutants at the British Center for Oceanography, “despite the small sample and the low concentrations detected”, the study’s analytical methods are “very robust“.

“This study helps demonstrate that plastic particles are not only present in the environmentbut also in our bodies. The long-term consequences are not yet well understood,” he told the Science Media Centre.

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