For the first time ever, microplastics were found in human blood!
According to a new study published in the journal Environment International, researchers looked into blood samples from 22 volunteer participants, all of them healthy.
Upon doing this, they discovered that there was a significant mass of plastic particles in no less than 17 of those samples, which amounts to a rate of almost 80 percent!
Furthermore, PET plastic, which is used for beverage bottles was found in half of the samples.
Polystyrene, most common for packing food, was also found in 36 percent of the blood samples while polyethylene, which is what plastic bags are made out of, was in 23 percent of the samples.
Finally, PMMA was in 5 percent of samples.
Microplastics are known to enter the body through food, water but also by breathing them in and they have been found in the feces of both adults and babies before.
With that being said, however, this is officially the first time that they were also discovered in the bloodstream, as per The Guardian.
An ecotoxicologist from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Dick Vethaak, shared with the news outlet that “Our study is the first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood — it’s a breakthrough result. But we need to extend the research and to increase the sample sizes, the number of polymers assessed, etc.”
Vethaak went on to also tell the publication that “it is certainly reasonable to be concerned, the particles are there and they are transported throughout the body.”
As for the research, he stressed that it is a “pioneering study“ and that more work is needed.
The study has been funded by the Dutch National Organisation for Health Research and Development and Common Seas, an organization that actively works to reduce plastic pollution.
Vethaak also shared that “The big question is what is happening in our body? Are these particles retained in the body? Are they transported to some organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier? And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger diseases? We need to fund further research urgently so we can find out.”