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Microplastics: An Invisible Threat to Human Health

by Iswarya on July 5, 2019 at 12:58 PM
Microplastics: An Invisible Threat to Human Health

Plastics, which is known for its durability, stability, and affordability, has become a primary environmental concern in recent years. This pervasive nature of plastic has led to its entry in the human body, posing a threat to human health.

With more than 400 million tons of plastic produced each year globally, the plastic still remains a choice for industries such as food packaging, cosmetics, utensils, etc. Most of the plastic waste ends up in dump yards and water bodies.


While macro-plastics remains a visible problem, micro-plastics, nano-plastics are emerging as a more serious health hazard due to their invisible nature.

"Other than the food chain, regular contact with day-to-day life plastic products allows oral, dermal, and inhalation exposure to micro-plastics, additive chemicals to the human body. Hence, it is necessary to determine the interactions between the micro-plastics and biological macromolecules to understand their effects on human health," says Prof. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Professor at Vellore Institute of Technology.

While several studies have shown adverse effects of plastics on the human body, researchers are now trying to learn how the basic machinery of the body communicates with plastic particles.

In a new study, Prof. Chandrasekaran and his colleagues have looked at the interaction of nano plastics with blood proteins and cells, illustrating their harmful effects on human health and found that aggregated plastic-protein complex is more lethal and potent in causing the death of white and red blood cells than the nano-plastic alone.

The findings of the study are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Source: Medindia
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