New Research Sparks Urgent Concerns About Health Impacts of Plastic Bits

New Research Sparks Urgent Concerns About Health Impacts of Plastic Bits
New Research Sparks Urgent Concerns About Health Impacts of Plastic Bits

Plastic is a major part of our daily lives and its harmful effects are well-known by everyone. But, recently a new study has shared another concerning fact which highlights link between plastic bits – nanoplastics and microplastics as well as heart diseases.

The latest study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed that plastic waste is never completely recycled, but it breaks down into small and nanoparticles.   

While sharing update regarding this new study, a heart expert at the Cleveland Clinic – Dr Steve Nissen stated, “The study is intriguing. However, there are really substantial limitations.”

He further mentioned, “It’s a wake-up call that perhaps we need to take the problem of microplastics more seriously. As a cause for heart disease? Not proven. As a potential cause? Yes, maybe,” according to news agency Associated Press.

The study was conducted on 257 people who had blocked blood vessels in their necks and underwent surgery to get rid of them. The researchers followed two methods to conduct the study, which concluded that there was the presence of nanoplastics in the arteries and mostly the particles were invisible.

Visual Representation | Credits: WWF

According to the stats shared by the experts, majority of the people, i.e. 150 people were having nanoplastics in their body, whereas 107 people showed no evidence of plastics.

The people were examined for around three complete years, and during that time, some of the people, i.e., 30 or 20 percent of the total people, suffered a heart attack, stroke, and even died due to the same cause. In comparison, just eight percent (8%) of people with no evidence of plastics dealt with the same consequences

The study was led by an expert from the University of Campania in Italy – Dr Raffaele Marfella mentioned, “I hope that the alarming message from our study will raise the consciousness of citizens, especially governments, to finally become aware of the importance of the health of our planet.”

The study also concluded that the patients who had small pieces of plastic in their bodies suffered from more problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol, according to AP. Other factors which directly or indirectly affected the conclusion of the study were gender and smoking choice.

A health expert from Boston College – Dr Philip Landrigan, stated that more research on the matter is needed. According to reports by the Associated Press, he was quoted saying, “It does not prove cause and effect, but it suggests cause and effect. And it needs urgently to be either replicated or disproven by other studies done by other investigators in other populations.”

Along with this, some other studies have shared link between the presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in lungs, liver, placenta, blood and breast milk.