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100% detection rate of microplastics in human placenta
 Jan 17, 2024|View:108

Microplastics, defined as tiny plastic fragments less than 5 mm in length, come from the decomposition of various plastic products, such as plastic bags, take-out plastic boxes, plastic bottles, packaging materials, etc. The existence of microplastics has attracted widespread attention because they can enter the water, soil and air in the environment, enter the food chain, and eventually enter the human body, negatively affecting our health.

Early research shows that a person may inhale 16.2 plastic fragments from their clothes, air and other environments every hour, and ingest an average of about 3,000 microplastic particles per week, which is equivalent to eating a "bank card" per week. plastic.

Recently, researchers from the University of Hawaii published a research paper titled "Temporal trends in microplastic accumulation in placentas from pregnancies in Hawaiʻi" in the journal International Environment.

The study shows that microplastics have invaded human placenta, with a 100% detection rate in samples taken after 2021, and the size of microplastic particles is larger and visible to the naked eye.

microplastics have invaded human placenta

In the study, researchers analyzed 30 placentas donated to the Hawaii Reproductive Biobank (HRBR) between 2006 and 2021 for microplastics in the placentas.

The study found that over time, the detection rate of microplastics gradually increased and the particles gradually became larger.

Microplastic particles were found in 9 of 10 placenta samples in 2013, a discovery rate of 90%. The average size of microplastics was 6.2 μm, with a range of 1-17 μm.

Microplastic particles were found in all 10 placenta samples in 2021, with a discovery rate of 100%. The average size of microplastics was 5.1 μm, ranging from 1-44 μm.

Discovery rate of microplastics in placenta

In addition, the placenta tissue contained an average of 4.1 microplastics per 50g in 2006, 7.1 microplastics per 50g of placenta tissue in 2013, and 15.5 microplastics per 50g of placenta tissue in 2021.

This shows that the number and size of microplastics in the placenta are significantly increasing.

Number and size of microplastics in placenta

Finally, the researchers also analyzed the specific composition of microplastics through Raman spectroscopy technology.

In the 2006 sample, the most abundant plastic particles were polypropylene (PP), polyester (PES), followed by polyvinyl chloride (PVC), etc. In the 2013 sample, the most common ones are PP, followed by PET and PES. In the 2021 samples, the most common ones are PES, PET and PP, etc.

Red microplastic particles in the placenta

The researchers said the high rates of placental contamination found in Hawaii may not apply to other parts of the world. Because, people on islands tend to eat more seafood, which is heavily exposed to ocean plastic.

Currently, researchers don’t know the impact of plastic in the placenta on maternal and fetal health, but early mouse studies have shown that microplastics have the potential to disrupt fetal brain development, which may lead to poor neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Not only that, microplastics can invade the brain, heart, blood system, etc.

On November 17, 2023, researchers from Duke University in the United States published a research paper titled "Anionic nanoplastic contaminants promote Parkinson’s disease-associated α-synuclein aggregation" in "Science Advances".

Research shows that nanoplastics invade the brain, interact with α-synuclein in neurons, and promote the formation and replication of its protein fibrils. Nanoplastics can also cause lysosomal damage, thereby slowing down the aggregation of α-synuclein. Degradation of nuclear proteins. This process is closely related to the occurrence of Parkinson's disease, indicating that microplastics may increase the risk of Parkinson's disease.

Anionic nanoplastic contaminants promote Parkinson'sdisease-associated a-synuclein aggregation

On July 13, 2023, researchers from Beijing Anzhen Hospital affiliated to Capital Medical University published a research paper titled "Detection of Various Microplastics in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery" in the journal "Environmental Science and Technology".

Research shows that microplastics have invaded the human heart, with microplastics found in the heart tissue of patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Detection of Various Microplastics in Patients Undergoing CardiacSurgery

Today, plastic products are everywhere in our lives, and there are more and more microplastics in our bodies. We can only avoid the harm caused by microplastics by reducing their use.