Study: ‘Great concern’ as study finds microplastics in human placentas

Mongabay discusses ‘Great concern’ as study finds microplastics in human placentas.

  • A new study has found microplastics present inside human placentas, which could potentially affect fetal health and development.
  • The microplastics probably entered the women’s bodies through ingestion and inhalation, and then translocated to the placentas, the study suggests.
  • While further research needs to be done on the subject, it is believed that these microplastics could disrupt immunity mechanisms in babies.

Plastic is everywhere — literally everywhere. A growing body of research shows that plastic is not only filling the world’s oceans and wilderness regions, it’s also invading our bodies through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume. And now, a new study has shown that microplastics — tiny plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters but bigger than 1 micron — are even present inside human placentas, posing a potential risk to fetal health and development.

Published this month in Environmental International, the study examined six human placentas from women who experienced healthy pregnancies and births. During delivery, the obstetricians and midwives followed a “plastic-free protocol,” swapping plastic gloves for cotton ones, and not using any plastic equipment or supplies to avoid cross-contamination.

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