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Researchers Identify ‘Microplastics’ in Human Heart for the First Time

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Researchers Identify 'Microplastics' in Human Heart for the First Time

In a significant breakthrough, Chinese scientists from Beijing Anzhen Hospital uncovered a groundbreaking revelation during their examination of heart tissue from 15 patients who had undergone cardiovascular surgery. The proliferation of plastics has unleashed serious repercussions on our planet, giving rise to a multitude of environmental challenges. The insidious spread of plastic pollution has spurred a range of issues in our surroundings. Moreover, research has substantiated the infiltration of microplastics even within the bodies of living organisms.

As per the most recent research report released by the American Chemical Society, a group of Chinese researchers has successfully identified microplastics within the human heart, marking a significant first-time discovery. The team of scientists hailing from Beijing Anzhen Hospital in China accomplished this breakthrough while investigating the heart tissue of 15 individuals who had undergone cardiovascular surgery.

As reported by the New York Post, researchers have discovered “tens to thousands of distinct microplastic fragments in the majority of tissue samples,” with plastic particles present in all of the blood samples. The research team expressed concern about the identification of microplastics within living organisms, emphasizing the need for further investigations into the mechanisms by which these microplastics infiltrate cardiac tissues, as well as the potential implications of microplastics on the long-term prognosis following cardiac surgery.

The researchers also identified Polyethylene terephthalate, commonly used in textiles and food containers, along with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a prevalent material in window frames, drainage pipes, paint, and various other applications.

Significantly, microplastics, which can measure less than 5 millimeters in size, have the potential to infiltrate the human body via pathways such as the mouth, nose, and other bodily cavities. These minute plastic particles have been suggested to play an indirect role in conditions like obesity, diabetes, and chronic liver disease by inducing alterations within the gastrointestinal tract.

A recent investigation revealed that microplastics can adhere to the outer membranes of red blood cells, potentially hindering their oxygen transport capacity. Furthermore, these particles have been detected within the placentas of pregnant women. In pregnant rats, they exhibit rapid passage through the lungs and reach the hearts, brains, and other fetal organs.

A freshly published review article, co-authored by Vethaak, examined the risk of cancer associated with micro- and nano-plastics. The review concluded that comprehensive research concerning the impact of these minute plastic particles on human bodily structures and processes, as well as their potential to trigger cell transformations and induce carcinogenesis, is urgently required. This urgency is heightened by the escalating surge in plastic production, underscoring the increasing gravity of the issue with each passing day.

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Siya
Siya has a master’s degree in Marketing and editor with passion. He holds 7 years’ experience in this field. She holds a keen interest in the know-how of what is brewing in healthcare and science.

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