MICROPLASTICS: INVISIBLE POLLUTION
Pollution that is unseen but increasingly present and dispersed on the Planet.
Pollution is one of the main causes of environmental concern today.
In addition, there is invisible pollution that not only endangers the health of the planet and its species, but also that of human beings, according to recent research.
In recent years, contamination by microplastics and nanoplastics has become a major challenge for environmental sciences, analytical chemistry and environmental toxicology, not only because of the possible harmful effects they have on our bodies, but also because of their poor management in their treatment and indiscriminate use.
In reference to the presence of micro and nano plastics, experts from the Medical Center of the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) have concluded in the latest research presented at the Plastic Health Summit that the results are harmful to human health.
In turn, doctors such as Fransien van Dijk of the University of Groningen advise citizens to ensure correct and frequent ventilation of both homes and workplaces. As well as, other more common day-to-day gestures among which is vacuuming.
The main objective of this series of measures would be to reduce as much as possible the inhalation of plastic fibers, which can be found in suspension in the air.
The formation of airway organoids is negatively affected by the presence of microplastic textile fibers and this effect seems to be mediated by leaching additives,” says Fransien. Our results suggest that microplastic fibers may especially damage developing or repairing airways.”
Following the recent discovery that both nylon and polyester negatively affect the growth and repair of airway tissue; doctors from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory stated that, “Microfibers could hinder the repair of lungs of COVID-19 sufferers.”
Dr. Barbro Melgert, principal investigator of the research, said, “A virus damages the lungs, so they need to be repaired, and if the lungs are full of fibers that inhibit this repair, then this is another problem in addition to COVID-19.”
This research highlights an added problem in the face of combating COVID-19, given the current difficulty in reducing the presence of microplastics in our daily lives.
One of the biggest problems we face is that microplastics are increasingly present and dispersed around the Planet, from the oceans, to rivers, sediments, soils, living organisms and even in the air.