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For the first time, microplastics have been found in human blood

May this study push everybody to manage plastic pollution better, because for the first time, microplastic pollution has been found in human blood.

According to a study published in journal Environment International, polymers from plastics were detected and quantified in human blood for the very first time.

There were 22 anonymous healthy volunteers who participated in the study, which aimed to identify and quantify five high production volume polymers in plastic materials: PMMA, PP,  PE; PS, which is used for food packaging, and PET, which is commonly used in drink bottles.

Of the 22 participants, 17 were found to have plastic particles in their blood.

PET plastic was found in half of the participants, followed by PS plastic, which was found in a third of the participants. PE plastics were found in 23%, while PMMA was found in 5% of the participants.

Speaking to The Guardian, ecotoxicologist professor Dick Vethaak said "it is certainly reasonable to be concerned."

According to the study funded by the Dutch National social enterprise for Health Research and Development and Common Seas, what becomes of the plastic particles in the bloodstream needs further study.

But because plastic particles are found in blood, there is reason to believe these particles are transported throughout the body, Vethaak told The Guardian.

“The big question is what is happening in our body?” Vethaak said. “Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier?” And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out.” 

It is certainly worrisome but not all unexpected. Plastic pollution has been in the forefront of headlines regarding climate change and global warming.

In 2018, Department of Health already sounded the alarm about microplastic already found in sea salt samples? 

In the same year, a UN report found that the Philippines is among the Top 5 countries producing half of the world's plastic waste.

With microplastic already found in blood, here's hoping the plastic pollution problem will be taken more seriously by everybody. — LA, GMA News