Scientist find microplastics in human organs giving activists more ammo to demand change in plastic pollution

“It would be naive to believe there is plastic everywhere but just not in us.”

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On Monday, scientists from Arizona State University shared their research on finding microplastics and nanoplastics in human organs. 

This has led to activists and activist groups like Greenpeace U.K. to speak out demanding the reduction of plastic pollution worldwide. 

According to Common Dreams, microplastics are plastics that are less than five millimeters in diameter and nanoplastics are less than 0.001 millimeters in diameter. Both are broken down bits of larger plastic pieces that were dumped into the environment. 359 million tons of plastic was produced globally in 2019.

People can consume these toxic particles via food,, water, and breathing them in. The potential impact on human health is currently unknown. 

The Arizona State University scientists used 47 tissue samples from lung, liver, spleen, and kidney samples collected from a tissue bank where they found microplastics in every single sample. 

“It would be naive to believe there is plastic everywhere but just not in us. We are now providing a research platform that will allow us and others to look for what is invisible – these particles too small for the naked eye to see. The risk [to health] really resides in the small particles,” says Rolf Halden at Arizona State University.

As The Guardian reports, they found bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make plastics, in all 47 samples. The US Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about BPA because “it is a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal studies”. The researchers examined lung, liver, spleen and kidney tissue as these organs are likely to be exposed to microplastics or collect them.

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