While many of us are aware of environmental damage done by plastic, fewer people know about the threat from ubiquity of microplastics. Scientists first found them in our bodies more than decade ago. Worryingly, researchers have now found them in human heart. Scientists at the Beijing Anzhen Hospital in China collected cardiac tissue samples from 15 patients undergoing heart surgery. After analyzing samples, they discovered tiny pieces of plastic, from multitude of sources. They included plastic commonly used as shatter-proof alternative to glass, polythene widely used in clothing and food containers, and polyvinyl chloride used in construction.
The scientists reported finding, "tens to thousands of individual microplastic pieces in most tissue samples". Chemicals from microplastics are released into body, potentially leading to allergic reactions, cancer, cell death, and chronic inflammation, among other complications. Scientists reckon average person consumes around five grams of microplastics week, or 52,000 particles year. Microplastics are so prevalent that they make up 39 per cent of dust particles in our homes. Scientists say these tiny shards are near-impossible to remove from body. They say it is becoming critical to limit amount of plastic we breathe in, ingest, swallow or absor