Microplastics found in living human lungs for the first time Brighton News

Microplastics have been discovered for the first time in living human lungs, a study has confirmed.

Researchers from the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School have also found microplastics in the deepest part of the lung, which was previously thought impossible due to the narrowness of the airways.

Microplastics have been found in autopsy samples from human cadavers before, but this is the first study to show them in the lungs of living people.

The research team says the results show that inhaling microplastics is a route of exposure and will now help guide future studies of the impact microplastics may have on respiratory health.

The study, which was published in Science of the Total Environment, found 39 microplastics in 11 of 13 lung tissue samples tested, significantly more than any previous lab test.

The Argus: majority of lung tissue samples came back with microplastics (PA)Majority of lung tissue samples came back with microplastics (PA)

Laura Sadofsky, the paper’s lead author, said: “Microplastics have been found before in autopsy samples from human cadavers; this is the first robust study to show microplastics in the lungs of living people.

“It also shows that they are in the lower parts of the lung. The airways in the lungs are very narrow, so no one thought they could get there, but it clearly does.

“These data represent an important advance in the field of air pollution, microplastics and human health.

“Characterization of the types and levels of microplastics we found can now inform realistic conditions for laboratory exposure experiments to determine health impacts.”

What microplastics do people inhale?

Surgeons at Castle Hill Hospital in East Yorkshire provided the living lung tissue, which was removed during surgeries carried out on patients who were still alive, as part of their routine medical care. It was then filtered to see what was present.

Among the microplastics detected were 12 types, which are commonly found in packaging, bottles, clothing, rope/twine, and many manufacturing processes.

There were also significantly higher levels of microplastics in men than in women.

The study showed that 11 microplastics were found in the upper part of the lung, seven in the middle part and 21 in the lower part of the lung – which was an unexpected finding.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-06 08:51:52

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