Microplastics Invading Our Bodies – Are You at Risk?


With plastic products consistently used in various goods on a global scale, it has become a pressing matter to mitigate the spread of these microplastics further. Such tiny plastic particles, smaller than 5mm in size, have thoroughly invaded the lives of multiple ecosystems, and the consequences of their presence are now becoming increasingly evident in human bodies. A great deal of research has found evidence of microplastics in human organs and tissues, thereby raising questions about potential health risks.

Microplastics are so pervasive that they have been detected in human tissues such as the liver, lungs, kidneys, and even in placental tissue.

The Prevalence of Microplastics in the Human Body

Recent studies have confirmed that microplastics have entered the human body through various pathways, including ingestion, dermal exposure and inhalation, e.g. inhaling these small particles can potentially lead to respiratory diseases and cancer. According to Campanale et. al., microplastics are so pervasive that they have infiltrated the liver, kidneys, heart, entire nervous system and even the reproductive system. Not to mention, these human organs and tissues are now some of the most commonly affected ones by said particles. In one study, researchers from the University of Arizona found microplastics in all the human organs, including placental tissue, they examined, further emphasising the widespread contamination.

Routes of Exposure

It is absolutely vital to narrow down the routes of microscopic contamination and exposure when developing effective management strategies for regulating microplastics in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. As per WebMD Health News research, microplastics permeated human bodies via the consumption of contaminated food and beverages, e.g., seafood, bottled water etc. In addition, these small particles are easily transferable from everyday products, including personal care items, clothing, and household goods, and then onto one’s skin which leads to dermal exposure.

As Dr Evangelos Danopoulos, a microplastics researcher, says, “Once the plastic waste is mismanaged and it enters the environment, there is very little we can do to extract it.” Having said that, it is essential to continue working towards minimising the exposure as much as possible.

Potential Health Implications

Any health risks arising due to microplastic exposure are not yet fully understood by most and need further research for experts to establish a definitive link of causality. Nevertheless, there are many possibilities that warrant the attention of the masses on a global scale when analysing probable health implications that could occur, for example:

  • Inflammation and Cellular Damage: Microplastics have the ability to trigger chronic inflammation and cellular damage and potentially lead to causing a variety of health issues in individuals.
  • Chemical Absorption: The small particles are able to adsorb and accumulate toxic chemicals in the environment, possibly working as carriers for the substances to reach different parts of the body.
  • Disruption of Hormonal Balance: Some microplastics contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that could interfere with hormonal balance and impact reproductive health.
  • Immune System Responses: The human body’s immune system response can be triggered by the presence of microplastics and negatively affect the overall immune function.
  • Transplacental Transfer: Fetal development has become a serious point of concern as microplastics are being detected in the placental tissues.

Promoting Sustainable Practices

Discovering the infiltration of microplastics in the human body further emphasises the urgency of implementing more sustainable practices than ever before in order to curb such pervasive contamination. Moreover, now that microplastics significantly impact people’s health on a long-term and short-term scale, such permeating pollution cannot be ignored any longer.

How Can Chemwatch Help?

Our chemical management software provides businesses and industries with the tools they need to track, analyse, and manage chemicals throughout their lifecycle. By integrating information about microplastics and associated chemical risks into the system, Chemwatch can empower companies to make informed decisions about their product choices, manufacturing processes, and waste disposal methods. Together, we can protect human health and the environment for generations to come.


Quick Inquiry