We all want to save the planet, and we should take into consideration the plastic crisis in this case. Check out the latest reports about this below.
How plastic kills
A recent study conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Rhode Island has found that microplastics have started to accumulate in every organ of mice, including their brains and bodily waste.
This research, published in the International Journal of Molecular Science, shows that these particles have the potential to bioaccumulate in humans as well, especially at high levels of exposure.
The findings are concerning and raise important questions about the long-term effects of microplastic pollution on human health.
“They found that microplastic exposure induces both behavioral changes and alterations in immune markers in liver and brain tissues.
The study mice began to move and behave peculiarly, exhibiting behaviors akin to dementia in humans. The results were even more profound in older animals.”
The issue of microplastics involves politics, but it’s important to understand what they are and why they’re a concern. Microplastics are plastic particles that are smaller than 5 millimeters (similar in size to a pencil eraser), while nanoplastics are even smaller, measuring less than 1 micron (which is narrower than a human hair, typically between 50 and 120 microns wide).
These particles are invisible to the naked eye and can’t be viewed with a simple microscope.
They’re often formed when plastic breaks down or erodes, such as when plastic packaging sheds fragments into food or liquid products, or when waste plastic disintegrates and enters the environment.
These particles are so tiny that they can enter our individual cells and have been discovered in every organ that has been measured. The concern regarding the impact of microplastics on human health is primarily focused on nanoplastics or microplastics that are almost the same size as nanoparticles.
Therefore, when the media talks about microplastics and their effect on human health, they are usually referring to nanoplastics. Microplastics and nanoplastics can negatively affect animal metabolism in many ways.
Concerning effects on humans
Studies have shown that they can lead to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and dementia in humans. Currently, the microplastics crisis is most noticeable in cancer cases. For instance, there has been a surge of colorectal cancer cases among young people in recent decades, making it the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in those under 50.
A study published in the journal Surgery by JAMA revealed this information.
“Based on current trends, in 2030 the incidence rate for colon and rectal cancer will increase by 90.0% and 124.2% for patients 20 to 34 years of age and by 27.7% and 46.0% for patients 35 to 49 years of age.”
It’s concerning to hear about recent studies linking microplastics in our food and water to the rise of colorectal cancer. The research highlights how the impact of microplastics on our gut lining can lead to inflammation and cancer. In addition, the chemicals in these particles and their ability to absorb toxins may also contribute to the increase in colorectal cancer.
It’s important to note that microscopic nanoparticles are particularly effective at absorbing carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) due to their large surface area relative to their mass. These findings emphasize the need for continued research and awareness of the potential health risks associated with microplastics.