Science Book, April 6 (EFE). – A scientific team from the United Kingdom has discovered microplastic particles in the deepest part of the lungs, a discovery that, the researchers say, is “unexpected and surprising”.
Scientists at Hull York Medical School are in charge, and they say this work will help guide future studies into the impact of microplastics on respiratory health.
The study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, found 39 microplastics in 11 of the 13 lung tissue samples analyzed: “This is the first solid study to show the presence of microplastics in the lungs of living people,” says Laura. Sadofsky, lead author of the paper.
“It also appears that they are in the lower parts of the lung. The airways in the lungs are very narrow, so no one thought they could get there, but they are clearly there.”
Among the microplastics that have been discovered, there have been 12 types, which have many uses and are commonly found in packaging, bottles, clothing, ropes/fabrics, and many manufacturing processes.
In addition, levels of microplastics were significantly higher in men than in women, said a statement from the aforementioned school, from the universities of Hull and York.
The study showed that 11 microplastics were found in the upper part of the lung, seven in the middle part and 21 in the lower part, “an unexpected finding.”
“We did not expect to find as many particles in the lower regions of the lungs, or particles of the sizes that we found.”
“This is surprising, because the airways are smaller in the lower parts of the lungs, and we would expect particles of these sizes to be filtered or trapped before they reach deep into the lungs,” she said.
This is not the first time that microplastics have been found in the human body. Last March, for example, researchers at the Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit) found that tiny bits of plastic from our living environment can be absorbed into the human bloodstream.