Microplastics Found in the Human Heart!


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.

They said,

cannot be attributed to accidental exposure during surgery.

Other types of plastics were polyethene terephthalate and polyvinyl chloride.

The authors of the study said,

The detection of in vivo MPs [microplastics] is alarming, and more studies are necessary to investigate how the MPs enter the cardiac tissues and the potential effects of MPs on long-term prognosis after cardiac surgery,

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Dr. Armash Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor's degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is skilled in general dentistry and is an experienced medical content writer. She also works as a Science Instructor for Little Medical School, which is a STEM-based learning program for kids. Her future plans are to work for the betterment of dentistry for the underprivileged in Pakistan, apply for postgraduation, and specialize in Paediatric Dentistry.


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