A study has shown that microplastics cause damage in the laboratory to human cells at levels that are known to be found in food.
The harm included cell death, allergic reactions, and this research is the first to demonstrate that it happens at levels that are relevant to human exposure. The health effects on the human body are unknown as it is not known how long microplastics will remain in the body before being eliminated.
The entire planet has been affected by microplastics pollution, from the top of Mount Everest to deepest oceans. It was already known that microplastics can be ingested via water and food, as well as inhaled.
The research analyzed 17 studies that had previously examined the toxicological effects of microplastics on human cells. Researchers compared microplastics levels at which cells were damaged with levels that people ingested through contaminated foods. Drinking water,SeafoodTable salt.
Microplastics in the diet caused harm cell death, allergic reaction, and damage of cell walls.
Evangelos Danopoulos, from Hull York Medical School in the UK, who led the research published by the Journal of Hazardous Materials. We should be worried. There is no way to protect yourself right now.
Future research could help to identify the most contaminated foods, and avoid them, but the ultimate solution was stopping the loss of plastic trash. Once plastic is in the environment, it’s impossible to get it out.
Danopoulos stated that research on the health effects of microplastics is rapidly increasing. These particles are everywhere: we inhale them, eat them, and even swallow them. We don’t know how they react once they are in our bodies.
Research also revealed that irregularly shaped microplastics were more likely to cause cell death than spherical. This information is important for future studies, as many microplastics used in laboratory experiments are spherical. It may not be representative of the particles humans ingest.
Steve Allen, a microplastics researcher, said that this work informs where research should focus to find real-world consequences. It was interesting to note that shape was so important for toxicity. This confirms the belief of many plastic pollution researchers that pristine spheres in laboratory experiments may not show real-world effects.
Danopoulos stated the next step was to study microplastic harm in laboratory animals. However, experiments on human subjects would be un-ethical. A March study revealed that tiny plastic particles found in pregnant rats’ lungs can rapidly enter the hearts, brains, and other organs their foetuses.
Researchers found microplastics in the placentas unborn babies in December. They were deemed a serious concern. Scientists revealed that babies who were given formula milk in plastic containers were ingesting millions upon a daily basis.