A new study has found that plastic particles were found in 77% of the people tested during the world’s first study to detect the presence of plastic in human blood.
PET plastics, commonly used in beverage bottles, food packaging, and clothing, have been found to be the most abundant in human blood. The study authors said that plastic particles can enter the human body through food as well as air.
Dick Whithak, professor of ecotoxicology and water quality and health at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, told the media that the results were “definitely worrying”. Because it shows that people are apparently ingesting or inhaling so much plastic that it has started to be found in the blood. Regarding the harmful effects of plastic in the blood, he added: “Such particles can cause chronic inflammation.”
During the study, the team tested the blood samples of 22 people for the presence of five types of plastic. These types of plastics included polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The results showed that 17 out of 22 donors had a significant amount of plastic particles in their blood.
After polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), which is used to make a wide variety of household products, was the most abundant plastic in blood tested samples. The third most abundant plastic in the blood was polyethylene. It is a material that is regularly used in the manufacture of plastic carrier bags. The scientists said that three different types of plastics were measured in a blood sample.
PET was found in the blood of 50% of the people in the test while polystyrene was present in 36% of the people. Professor Whithak said: “The study found that about eight out of 10 people tested had plastic particles in their blood. But it doesn’t tell us what the safe or unsafe level of plastic particles is. ”
According to him: ‘How high is this level? We urgently need funding for further research so that we can find out. ” He added: “As our exposure to plastic particles increases, we have a right to know what it is doing to our bodies.”
Professor Whithak said he had reduced his plastic use by looking at the results of these research projects.
“As much as possible, my family tries to avoid the use of single-use plastics, especially those that contain food or beverages,” he told The Independent.
He added: “It is also important to keep the house well ventilated as the number of microplastics is higher inside the house than outside. I also cover my food and beverages to reduce the risk of plastic particles accumulating. There is much more you can do to minimize the risk of plastic particles.
The study was started by Common Seas. The Common Seas is a pressure group that is campaigning to eliminate the huge amount of plastic waste in the world’s oceans.
The organization’s chief executive, Joe Royal, said: “These results are very worrying. We are already eating, drinking, and breathing in plastic. It is also found in the deepest parts of the ocean and on the summit of Mount Everest. And despite all that, plastic production will double by 2040. ”
He added: “We have a right to know what all this plastic is doing to our bodies. That is why we are urging businesses, governments, and philanthropists around the world to use the National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund to clarify our information on the health effects of plastics and to conduct immediate and further research.\