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Microplastics found in human blood: study

"Our study is the first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood – it’s a breakthrough result," said ecotoxicologist Dick Vethaak.

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Trace amounts of tiny particles of plastic have been found in close to 80 percent of people's blood samples, according to a new study.

Seventeen out of the 22 blood samples donated voluntarily and anonymously came back with some traces of plastic in them. Eleven of them contained PET plastic, which is what is commonly used in drink bottles. Other plastics found in the samples were polystyrene and polyethylene, used for food packaging and plastic bags, respectively.

According to the Guardian, Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxigologist in Amsterdam, stated that these alarming results indicated the need for further, broader and deeper research, saying:

"Our study is the first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood – it’s a breakthrough result. But we have to extend the research and increase the sample sizes, the number of polymers assessed, etc."

Professor Vethaak also told the press that "It is certainly reasonable to be concerned," mentioning that the "particles are there and are transported throughout the body.”

"We also know in general that babies and young children are more vulnerable to chemical and particle exposure. That worries me a lot," he continued, also citing a similar study, in which stool samples from babies showed as much as an order of magnitude higher levels of these plastics than in adults.

Vethaak then mentioned that subsequent studies need to focus on what negative effects these plastics may be having on us:

"The big question is what is happening in our body? Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier?"

"And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out."

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