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Scientists Find New Pollutant in Human Blood for the First Time

  Plastic pollution has now reached into the human body, according to a new story. A Dutch study published in  Environment International  fo...

 Plastic pollution has now reached into the human body, according to a new story.

A Dutch study published in Environment International found microplastics in the bloodstreams of nearly 80 percent of 22 volunteers tested, according to the website

The results showed that half of those tested contained PET plastic, used for water bottles, while more than a third had polystyrene in their blood. That is used for disposable food containers 

“This is the first time we have actually been able to detect and quantify” microplastics in human blood, said Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


“This is proof that we have plastics in our body — and we shouldn’t,” he said. 

“It is certainly reasonable to be concerned,” Vethaak said, according to the Guardian. “The particles are there and are transported throughout the body.”

He noted that past research has shown babies excrete plastic from the bottles used to feed them.

“We also know in general that babies and young children are more vulnerable to chemical and particle exposure,” he explained. “That worries me a lot.”

He said more research is needed to determine the impacts of plastic in humans’ blood.

“Where is it going in your body? Can it be eliminated? Excreted? Or is it retained in certain organs, accumulating maybe, or is it even able to pass the blood-brain barrier?” he questioned, according to 

“It is scientifically plausible that plastic particles may be transported to organs via the bloodstream,” the study stated.

Alice Horton, anthropogenic contaminants scientist at Britain’s National Oceanography Center, said the study “contributes to the evidence that plastic particles have not just pervaded throughout the environment, but are pervading our bodies, too.” 

new study noted that much needs to be learned.

“More detailed research on how MNPs affect the structures and processes of the human body, and whether and how MNPs can transform cells and induce carcinogenesis is urgently needed, particularly in light of the exponential increase in plastic production and the ensuing accumulation of non-degradable MNPs, the problem is becoming more urgent with each day,” the study reported, using the acronym for micro- and nanoplastics.

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