|Organization||Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam|
The results of the research project, called Immunoplast, were published today in the scientific journal Environment International. The research shows that miniscule pieces of plastic from our living environment are absorbed into the human bloodstream. A quarter of the tested donors had no detectable quantities of plastic particles of any type in their blood. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene, and polymers of styrene were the most common types of plastic found in the blood samples, followed by poly(methyl methacrylate). Polypropylene was also analysed but the concentrations were too low for an accurate measurement. The next question is how easy it is for these particles to move from the bloodstream into tissues such as in organs like the brain. Heather Leslie, working at VU during the research, explains: “We have now proven that our bloodstream, our river of life as it were, has plastic in it.” Marja Lamoree adds: “This dataset is the first of its kind and must be expanded to gain insight into how widespread plastic pollution is in the bodies of humans, and how harmful that may be. With this insight we can determine whether exposure to plastic particles poses a threat to public health.