Microplastics Detected in Human Blood: A Wake-Up Call for Global Health
The invisible threat of microplastics, fragments smaller than a grain of rice, is becoming more visible as recent studies reveal their presence in our bodies and potential impact on our health.
HCN Medical Memo
As healthcare professionals, we need to be aware of the potential health implications of microplastic exposure. Although definitive evidence linking microplastic consumption to human health is currently lacking, the presence of these particles in our bodies could potentially lead to inflammation, hormone disruption, and other health issues. This new understanding could shift our approach to patient care, emphasizing the importance of environmental factors in health outcomes.
- Microplastics originate from larger plastics that degrade over time and from everyday products like cosmetics and synthetic fabrics.
- People are estimated to ingest approximately 5 grams of plastic per week.
- A small study found microplastics in all the human placentas studied.
- A 2022 study detected microplastics in the blood of most of the 22 people tested.
- Chemicals in plastics, such as phthalates and bisphenols, are linked to conditions like obesity and diabetes.
- A 2023 Chinese pilot study found microplastics in heart tissue.
- A 2023 Austrian study revealed that microplastics can infiltrate the brain.
According to a study by WWF International, people could be consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic every week.
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