Microplastics found in every human placenta tested, study finds.

It's been over three years since scientists first found microplastics swimming in four different human placentas, and as it turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

A few years later, at the start of 2023, researchers announced they had found microscopic particles of plastic waste in no fewer than 17 different placentas. By the end of 2023, a local study in Hawai'i analyzed 30 placentas that were donated between 2006 and 2021 only to find plastic contamination had increased significantly over time.

Using a new technique, researchers have now identified tiny particles and fibers of plastic less than a micron in size in the largest sample of placentas yet.

In all 62 tissue samples studied, the team found microplastics of various concentrations in every single one. These concentrations ranged from 6.5 to 685 micrograms per gram of tissue, which is much higher than levels found in the human bloodstream.

No one yet knows what this plastic pollution is doing – if anything – to the health of the fetus or the mother. While microplastics have been found in every major organ of the human body, including the brain, it's unknown if these pollutants are temporary visitors or permanent and accumulating threats to health.

As environmental plastic pollution continues to worsen, contamination of the placenta is on track to only increase, as humans breathe in and ingest more plastic than ever before.

Source: www.sciencealert.com


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