Your heart could be covered in microplastics, surgeons warn

WASHINGTON — Plastic pollution is a growing concern and now it may even be infiltrating our most vital organ. Surgeons have found microplastics within the human heart, raising concerns about their presence in all organs. Recent research conducted during heart surgeries shows evidence of microplastic contamination in heart tissues, indicating their unexpected introduction into the cardiovascular system.

These tiny plastic fragments, less than five millimeters wide, have also been found in various places including food, water, air, and other parts of the human body.

Scientists with the American Chemical Society (ACS) conducted a pilot study involving heart surgery patients, where they collected heart tissue samples and blood specimens before and after surgery. Utilizing advanced imaging techniques, they identified microplastic particles ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers wide in most tissue samples. The particles were composed of different types of plastics, including polyethylene terephthalate and polyvinyl chloride. Astonishingly, the blood samples also contained plastic particles, which decreased in size after surgery and represented a wider variety of plastic types.

Microplastics on the beach. (© David Pereiras –

Although the study involved a limited number of participants, the results underscore the potential accumulation of microplastics within the heart and its inner tissues. The research suggests that medical procedures could unknowingly introduce microplastics into the bloodstream, raising concerns about their impact on cardiovascular health.

The study’s authors emphasize the need for further research to comprehend the full extent of microplastics’ effects on the heart and their implications for individuals undergoing heart surgery. While researchers acknowledge the preliminary nature of their findings, this study highlights the urgent need to address the growing concern about microplastics’ pervasive presence in various aspects of our lives.

The study is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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  1. Besides the standard environmental complaints what actual reasons would the elite have to oppose plastic?

  2. 5mm is half a centimeter … no micro about that.
    They said “covered in plastic” – what are they even talking about.
    How does all this plastic get into our bodies?

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