The importance of items in our environment might get lost in the shuffle amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. Things we inhale and ingest don't seem to matter right away. The seriousness of these concerns gets lost in the shuffle of daily living. They are, nonetheless, present. They never seem to leave.
We simply don't think about them. Many of these problems have no evident consequences. It's tough to be concerned about something we can't see in our surroundings. Nonetheless, this does not negate the possibility of serious consequences.
Similarly, the impacts of the environment on our health are not always easy to predict. However, the questions must be investigated, particularly if they are potentially dangerous. This is the case with a study conducted by Dutch scientists.
Scientists have uncovered an alarming discovery thanks to funding from the Dutch National Organization for Health Research and Development and Common Seas. Tiny plastic particles were discovered in the bloodstreams of the study's participants.
The prevalence of these particles wasn’t minimal either. Almost 80 percent of the subjects showed an appreciable amount of “microplastics.” The study took blood samples from 22 anonymous donors.
In 17 of these samples, the amount of microplastics in their bloodstream was “quantifiable.” From the microscopic size of the plastic particles, scientists believe that they were either inhaled or ingested. Eleven of the samples having traces of plastic contained PET plastic.
This is common in drinking bottles. Other blood samples contained varying amounts of polystyrene and polyethylene. These two plastics are found in food packaging and plastic bags. The study was published in Environment International.
This study begs the question of how harmful this could be to the human body. To date, there hasn’t been a quantifiable level for such plastic in the blood. Who would even think it necessary to record such data? Dick Vethaak is an ecotoxicologist from Amsterdam who thinks we should.
Vethaak believes further research is clearly needed. He told the Guardian, “The big question is, what is happening in our body? Are the particles retained in the body?” This single question seems to pose particularly alarming health questions.
Vethaak also questioned, “Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier? And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease?” It’s hard to imagine that plastic particles floating around in our bloodstream are a good thing.
It wouldn’t be surprising to discover that the massive corporations, those who use cheap plastic packaging, aren’t already aware of these potential dangers. If they’re not, they should be funding additional research to discover the truth. Our first hunch is that they already knew.