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Microplastics In Human
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Microplastics In Human

  • April 21, 2022

"Microplastics" have been detected in Human Body for the very first time. 

Plastic that has already covered most of the places on our planet, is now has made its place on our Human body too. 

In this article, we are going to share the recent news related to Microplastic, where Scientists claimed that "the tiny particles have been found in almost 80% of the people tested". 

What is Microplastic?

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than 5mm in length and can cause environmental pollution through various sources. 

Types of Microplastics-

  • Primary Microplastic - 
    • Microbeads(found in Cosmetics)
    • Plastic Pellets(or Nurdles, manufactured in Pharmaceutical) 
    • Plastic Fibres (e.g Nylon)
  • Secondary Microplastic - Fragments of Larger Plastic products.
  • Synthetic Polymers - Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Polyamide (PA), Polyester (PES), and Acrylic (AC).
  • Nano-Plastics - Very small size particles, less than 100 nm.


Sources of Microplastic-

The 4 Major Sources of Microplastics are-

  1. Cosmetics- Cosmetic Industry uses Microplastic in the form of Microbeads, that are used in the manufacturing of Face Wash, Hand Soap, and various Personal care products.
  2. Clothing - Clothes made up of Synthetic fibers can shed Microplastics(while washing or by daily usage) and they tend to remain in the atmosphere for a very long time.
  3. Industrial Process - Sewage Treatment Plants- Microplastics are released during the sewage treatments. Wear and Tear of tires- Car, Truck, or Airplane tires, Brake wear, footwear, etc.. sheds Microplastics. Manufacturing Industry - Uses Plastic pellets(or Nurdles) while making products. Packaging and Shipping - The amount of Dump of Plastic Debris in the garbage is enough to tell about this point. Fishing Industry - Uses Nylon Netting(Ghosts Nets) while Fishing, which stays in the ocean and causes Water Pollution. 
  4. Plastics- Plastic Bottles, Baby feeding Bottles, Face Masks, and many more Plastic Products are the direct causes of Microplastic Production in the Environment.


Where can Microplastics be founded?

"Plastic leaving the ocean into the air that high – it shows there is no eventual sink for this plastic. It's just moving around and around in an indefinite cycle." - Steve Allen

Yes, there is not a single place in our world where we can't find Plastics. 

It's almost everywhere-

Nature - Microplastics are found abundantly in Oceans, Ice Cores, Freshwater, Soil, and Air. A large number of production and release of Plastics through various Sources and as the Size of Microplastics is very small, they can't be retained from the primary treatment Screens. So they escaped to the Environment and remained there causing harm to the Ecosystem. 

Daily Use materials - Surprisingly we are consuming Microplastics daily. They are present in Foods, Drinks, Clothes, Toothpaste, Cosmetics, and whatnot. 

Human Body The Air we breathe, the water we drink, the products we consume, moreover the Atmosphere we are Residing in has unfortunately added microplastics to our Human Body too. 


Recent Research on Human Body - 

Plastic that has already covered most of the places on our planet, is now has made its place on our Human body too. 

Recently there was a report on the Human Body. Scientists have collected Blood Samples of 22 healthy Adults and the results of the report are very concerning because the Scientists claimed that "the tiny particles have been found in almost 80% of the people tested". 

In some cases, it was present in Bloodstream, In other Cases in Lung Tissue, and even it was present in Placenta too.

Among the 22 Persons, Plastic was found in 17. Half of the Samples contained PET, which is generally used in Plastic Bottles, while a third Contained Polystyrene, used in Packaging. A quarter of the Samples contain Polyethylene, used in Plastic bags. 


Effects of Microplastics on Humans - 

Without knowing it, we are consuming Microplastic daily. Though there is no clear scientific proof about what would be the Health Impact of Microplastics on Humans. Then also, the Researchers feared that Microplastic can damage the Human Cell and can even lead to Cancer. They are already present in Bloodstream, Lung tissue, and even in Placenta. Researchers predicted they might enter other Organs too. 


After studying Cells in the lab, Scientists named some problems that may happen to humans due to Microplastics -


  • Inflammatory Responses
  • Oxidative Stress 
  • Cell Damage
  • Metabolic Disturbances
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Increased Cancer Risk


This is seriously Concerning.


A more Detailed Research on Microplastic would be carried on immediately to get a better understanding.

“This will take another 10 years, 15 years before we can understand what’s going on here.” - Dick Vethaak.


Effects of Microplastics on the Environment -

Marine life, Food Chain, and Pollution are greatly affected by the presence of Microplastics in the Environment and the causes are also interlinked to each other. 


Marine Life - Most of the Plastic residues from Factories are released into the Ocean. For that reason, Ocean or Sea has become a Home to plastics. Now, the Organisms present here face great problems. They may get entangled with Large Plastics, Ingest Microplastics, or even get suffocated. It is posing a great threat to marine life and many aquatic animals are put to death due to this. 


Food Chain - Due to the consumption of Microplastic by the aquatic animals. Microplastic has also entered the Food Chain directly. We aren't getting rid of this easily. All living organisms are threatened by this. 


Pollution - No need to mention the Pollution that Plastics are causing. Due to the long residence time of Plastic. They are going to increase day by day until we stop the usage of Plastics. Microplastic as small in size can't be seen through naked eyes, are present everywhere with us, and cause environmental pollution. There would be a drastic change in the environmental conditions due to this deadly and Harmful presence of Plastic in the Environment.


What can be the Possible Solution for Microplastic Reduction?

The 6 solutions for the Microplastic Reduction are- 

  • Education - Educate yourself first, and know the effects and the possible solutions. Then, tell your friends, family, and near ones about how they can be a part of the solution. Start tiny Changes within your group and make a healthy environment among yourselves. 
  • Recycling - Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation. As early as possible, we need to switch to the Recycling Process. 
  • Clean Up - Organise or Participate in a Clean-Up. Go, collect the Plastic and help the Garbage to get out of the Oceans. 
  • Awareness - Many organizations are conducting Awareness Campaigns in various ways. Their main aim is to aware the mass and stops them from being dependent on Plastic.  
  • Individual Step - The easiest thing that we can do is to take an Individual step. We can boycott the use of Plastic by ourselves. We can cut the usage of Plastic Cups, Bottles, Containers, Bags, and so on. We can refuse to Buy the Plastic made products. We can implement the "Reuse and Recycle" method. This small and powerful Step would lead to a greater point. 
  • Government Action - This is going to be a bold decision.
  • If the Government stands out and puts strict laws around the usage of Plastics. 


If they look into the Factories and their Production and implement new Rules. 

If they start opting for more eco-friendly options. 

If they spend a large amount on better treatment screens.

There are many such Steps that a Government can take by looking at various issues. 

Similarly, If an Action is taken Globally for the reduction of Plastics, we can have a more powerful impact on it. 

Among all these, the most effective and easy solution is by taking an Individual Step. 


"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi.

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