Microplastics found in human heart for first time

Many of us are aware of the harm plastic does to the environment. Fewer people know about the threat from the microplastics. Scientists found them in our bodies more than a decade ago. Researchers have now found them in the human heart. Scientists in China collected tissue samples from patients undergoing heart surgery. They discovered tiny pieces of plastic from many sources. They included a plastic commonly used in an alternative to glass, a polythene used in clothing and food containers, and a substance used in construction.

The scientists found "thousands of individual microplastic pieces in most tissue samples". Chemicals from microplastics are released into the body, which can lead to allergic reactions, cancer, and cell death, among other problems. Scientists say the average person consumes around five grams of microplastics a week, or 52,000 pieces a year. Microplastics also make up 39 per cent of dust particles in our homes. Scientists say these are almost impossible to remove from the body. It is becoming critical to limit the amount of plastic we breathe in, ingest or swallow.