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A study has revealed microplastics in the human heart for the first time

A study has revealed microplastics in the human heart for the first time

Particles less than 5 millimeters across were found after heart surgery, raising doctors’ alarms

Barbara Giovanni

24 minutes ago


Photo: Jr Korpa/Unsplash/Playback

In a study of cardiac surgery patients, scientists discovered microplastics in heart tissue. Search posted by American Chemical Society, It also identifies evidence that these particles were introduced during the procedures.

Microplastics are pieces of plastic smaller than 5 millimeters. In general, researchers have found these particles in various places: in water, in the air, in food and even in parts of the human body.

What surprised the scientists involved in this study was the presence of these fragments in the internal organs. Since they are not directly exposed to the environment, their contact with microplastic particles remains elusive..

What the study found

During the research, Kun Hua and Xuebin Yang, who signed the research, collected heart tissue samples from 15 patients undergoing heart surgeries. They also took blood samples before and after surgery from half of the participants. Finally, they analyzed each one using infrared laser imaging.

Analysis of samples found from tens to thousands of microplastics. Among them, particles of eight types of plastics can be identified, including polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride and poly(methyl methacrylate). Their width ranged from 20 to 500 µm, with differences in amounts and materials between patients.

The authors note that blood samples before and after surgery also contained microplastics – something likely related to diet. But after surgery, the average size of these plastics decreased, and the types of particles varied.

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Thus, the researchers concluded that invasive medical procedures, such as surgery, have become a dangerous and neglected route of exposure to microplastics. Because it is gaseous, it allows direct access of plastic particles into the bloodstream and internal tissues.

It is noteworthy that the study had a small number of participants. Therefore, more research is needed to understand the full effects of microplastics on the cardiovascular system and their impact on recovery after cardiac surgery.