Masks and Microplastics in the Blood By Mrs Vera West

A study published in the journal Environment International has detected microplastic pollution in human red blood cells. What I find interesting is that these plastics come not only from consumption, but inhalation. This implicates masks, which we all know from wearing these cursed monstrosities, seeming come apart when we wear them. I often end up with bits of my mask after wearing one shopping. So, who knows where this is going to go, with no end in sight to the insane wearing of masks, the cargo cult of our age of outrage.

“For the first time, scientists have detected microplastic pollution in human blood. The study, published in Environment International, detected plastic particles in almost 80% of the people they tested. These microplastics may be consumed or inhaled. These microplastics can attach to red blood cells, harming oxygen utilization in the bloodstream. They also interfere with glandular function, causing hormonal changes in the human body.

The study found that the microplastics not only get into the body but they also travel throughout the bloodstream and lodge in human organs. In laboratory studies, microplastics damage human cells, disrupt hormones and contribute to premature death. Plastic bottles, styrene food and beverage containers, and plastic shopping bags all contribute to this ever-present health threat, and that’s not all.

Masks will cause long term damage to oxygen utilization in humans.

Today, people willingly breathe in these microplastics by attaching masks to their faces. And, as the face masks are discarded en masse, the microplastics break down into the air, soil, and water, before finding their way into human blood and organs. Masks strain, suffocate, and poison people in an acute manner, and over the long haul, the microplastics break down in the environment, silently infiltrating the blood, and depriving red blood cells of oxygen. In one study, microplastics latched onto the outer membrane of red blood cells, hindering their ability to transport oxygen throughout.

At the height of the mask mandate hysteria, the world population was consuming 129 billion disposable face masks each month, or approximately three million masks every minute. Many of these masks are discarded into the environment or dumped in landfills, where they will break down and pollute the soil for years.

Disposable face masks contain an inner layer of thermoplastic polymers that are melted together into porous sheets. When they break down in the environment, these polymers and polypropylene fabrics break down into small plastic particles called microplastics. These microplastics leech into the soil and water, and ultimately make their way into human blood, tissues, and organs. These particles also travel through the air and are often taken in through the lungs. The long-term environmental and human health effects caused by mask mandates are yet to be fully realized. These negative impacts will be measured in human blood in the form of microplastic contamination.

Plastic pollution, exacerbated by masks, affects human hormones, childhood development

In the Environment International study, half the blood samples contained PET plastic, the kind that comes from plastic soda bottles. One third of the blood samples contained polystyrene, the hormone disrupting chemical used to manufacture Styrofoam containers. One quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, which is commonly used in grocery bags. Lead researcher, Professor Dick Vethaak from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said this is the “first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood.” He says further studies are needed to assess the presence of many more plastic polymers and understand what these microplastics are doing to the human body.

“The particles are there and are transported throughout the body,” he said, so it is “certainly reasonable to be concerned.” In his previous work, Vethaak found microplastic contamination to be ten times higher in babies because they are fed with plastic bottles. Babies are especially vulnerable to the negative effects; studies show the particles travel through the lungs and into the heart and brain, affecting neurodevelopment. More health studies should be conducted on people who regularly wear face masks. How might inhalation of microplastics affect one’s ability to transport oxygen in their blood over time? How might this exposure affect one’s hormones and cancer risk?

The amount and type of microplastics detected in the study varied considerably, as this was the first study to detect microplastics as small as 0.0007mm. Vethaak said the differences in microplastic levels might reflect short-term plastic exposures that occurred before the blood samples were taken, such as drinking from a Styrofoam cup or wearing a disposable face mask.

“The big question is what is happening in our body?” Vethaak said. “Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier?” And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out.”

“Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested.

The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.

Huge amounts of plastic waste are dumped in the environment and microplastics now contaminate the entire planet, from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. People were already known to consume the tiny particles via food and water as well as breathing them in, and they have been found in the faeces of babies and adults.

The scientists analysed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors, all healthy adults and found plastic particles in 17. Half the samples contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in drinks bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, used for packaging food and other products. A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, from which plastic carrier bags are made.

“Our study is the first indication that we have polymer particles in our blood – ​it’s a breakthrough result,” said Prof Dick Vethaak, an ecotoxicologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. “But we have to extend the research and increase the sample sizes, the number of polymers assessed, etc.” Further studies by a number of groups are already under way, he said.

“It is certainly reasonable to be concerned,” Vethaak told the Guardian. “The particles are there and are transported throughout the body.” He said previous work had shown that microplastics were 10 times higher in the faeces of babies compared with adults and that babies fed with plastic bottles are swallowing millions of microplastic particles a day.

“We also know in general that babies and young children are more vulnerable to chemical and particle exposure,” he said. “That worries me a lot.”

The new research is published in the journal Environment International and adapted existing techniques to detect and analyse particles as small as 0.0007mm. Some of the blood samples contained two or three types of plastic. The team used steel syringe needles and glass tubes to avoid contamination, and tested for background levels of microplastics using blank samples.

Vethaak acknowledged that the amount and type of plastic varied considerably between the blood samples. “But this is a pioneering study,” he said, with more work now needed. He said the differences might reflect short-term exposure before the blood samples were taken, such as drinking from a plastic-lined coffee cup, or wearing a plastic face mask.

“The big question is what is happening in our body?” Vethaak said. “Are the particles retained in the body? Are they transported to certain organs, such as getting past the blood-brain barrier?” And are these levels sufficiently high to trigger disease? We urgently need to fund further research so we can find out.”

The new research was funded by the Dutch National Organisation for Health Research and Development and Common Seas, a social enterprise working to reduce plastic pollution.

“Plastic production is set to double by 2040,” said Jo Royle, founder of the charity Common Seas. “We have a right to know what all this plastic is doing to our bodies.” Common Seas, along with more than 80 NGOs, scientists and MPs, are asking the UK government to allocate £15m to research on the human health impacts of plastic. The EU is already funding research on the impact of microplastic on foetuses and babies, and on the immune system.

A recent study found that microplastics can latch on to the outer membranes of red blood cells and may limit their ability to transport oxygen. The particles have also been found in the placentas of pregnant women, and in pregnant rats they pass rapidly through the lungs into the hearts, brains and other organs of the foetuses.

A new review paper published on Tuesday, co-authored by Vethaak, assessed cancer risk and concluded: “More detailed research on how micro- and nano-plastics affect the structures and processes of the human body, and whether and how they can transform cells and induce carcinogenesis, is urgently needed, particularly in light of the exponential increase in plastic production. The problem is becoming more urgent with each day.”






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Sunday, 21 July 2024

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