Small plastic particles now found deep inside human lungs

Researchers have found over a dozen kinds of microplastics at least 3μm in size in lung tissue samples taken from living humans.

Published Fri, Apr 8 2022 5:05 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, May 2 2022 10:20 AM CDT

A study on the problem titled "Detection of microplastics in human lung tissue using μFTIR spectroscopy" has been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Small plastic particles now found deep inside human lungs 02 |

Microplastics were detected in human blood for the first time only last month. Thirty-nine microplastic particles have now been found in 11 of 13 lung tissue samples taken from living humans. Samples taken from cadavers and lung cancer patients have previously revealed microplastics in human lungs.

The microplastics from these samples were detected throughout the lungs and found in higher concentrations as the samples were taken from lower down in the lungs. The particles came from at least a dozen different sources, including polyethylene, resin, and nylon.

"This is surprising as the airways are smaller in the lower parts of the lungs, and we would have expected particles of these sizes to be filtered out or trapped before getting this deep into the lungs," explained respiratory specialist Laura Sadofsky from Hull York Medical School.

You can read more from the study here.

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