For the first time, it was discovered that the innermost tissue of the human heart has microplastics!
The health consequences of this are unknown, but the new study reminds us of how pervasive plastic pollution is in the world.
Scientists at Beijing Anzhen Hospital, China, collected cardiac tissue samples from fifteen patients undergoing heart surgery for the new study. Moreover, they also took pre- and post-operative blood samples.
The team detected “tens to thousands” of microplastic pieces in the majority of the samples. They used a number of imaging techniques. Moreover, it is evident that surgery led to the introduction of microplastics. Evidence showed the embedment of foreign plastics in the tissues before the surgical procedure.
Therefore, evidence reveals that all the blood samples contained microplastics. However, the samples before the surgery had smaller and more diverse microplastics, which suggests they were introduced during the surgery.
The researchers also found nine types of plastic in the heart tissue from the samples. In addition, some of them were present before the operation. They identified microscopic particles of polymethacrylate in the left atrial appendage, pericardial adipose tissue, and epicardial adipose tissue.
Other types of plastics were polyethene terephthalate and polyvinyl chloride.
The authors of the study said,