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How Microplastics Affect Human Health

Bottles of water. Shopping bags. Computers. Medical equipement. Food containers. And so on.

Plastics. They never leave. And even if we can’t see them, they are everywhere.

“They are carried away in the atmosphere, they rain down on us. They were found in the Himalayan mountains”, explains Erica Cirino. “So right now we’re in a soup of microplastics and nanoplastics.”

But are these microplastics inside us?

“About five years ago, scientists began to wonder if there was plastic in our bodies? And indeed there is,” adds Cirino.

For the first time, microplastics have been found in living humans – their lungs and blood.

“I don’t like plastic waste ending up in the river of life at all. One thing is clear, we are exposed,” says Heather Leslie. “Do they actually cause adverse health effects? This is a question that takes many years to answer.

Today, About: Microplastics and your health.


Erica Cirino, communications manager at the Plastic Pollution Coalition. Author of Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis. (@erica_cirino)

Heather Leslie, she established the Microplastics Laboratory at the Free University of Amsterdam. Lead author of a new study that found microplastics and nanoplastics in human blood.

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Mary Kosuthresearcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.