Microplastics From Masks Found Deep in Lungs of the Living

< Please Share This

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Researchers found 39 microplastics in surgical lung samples from 11 of 13 people. There were 12 types that would commonly be found in plastic bottles, twine, clothing and surgical masks
  • A respirator specialist says surgical masks don’t meet the legal definition of a mask but rather are “breathing barriers.” He was emphatic they are shedding microplastics small enough to be inhaled
  • A data analysis of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Kansas revealed counties with mask mandates had higher mortality rates than those without mask mandates
  • Once inhaled or consumed, microplastics can be found in your bloodstream in particles small enough to cross membrane barriers. It’s also found in an infant’s first stool, suggesting maternal exposure; an animal study found nanopolystryene particles in fetal brain, liver, kidney and lung tissue 24 hours after maternal exposure

Tiny bits of plastic about the size of a sesame seed or smaller are everywhere. News headlines often show intact plastic bags, rings and bottles as the primary threats to the environment — and these are indeed harmful to marine life and more — but the smaller, more insidious microplastic bits may even be more harmful. A study1 from Great Britain2 found microplastics in 11 out of 13 patients’ lungs.

Across the world, 299 million tons of plastic were produced in 2013, much of which ended up in the oceans, threatening wildlife and the environment.3 That number jumped to 418 million tons in 2021.4 In 2018, the U.S. alone generated 35.7 million tons of plastic and sent 27 million tons to landfills, which accounted for 18.5% of all municipal solid waste.5

Chemicals found in plastic products are known to act as endocrine disruptors.6 These chemicals are similar in structure to natural sex hormones, and they interfere with the normal functioning of those hormones in your body.7 This poses a particular problem for children who are still growing and developing.

The price that society will pay for the ubiquitous use and distribution of plastic particles has yet to be quantified. Evidence suggests that the long-term exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates poses a significant danger to health and fertility.

The amount of plastic that enters the environment grows each year as manufacturers continue to produce products in disposable containers and consumers continue to demand a disposable lifestyle. At a time when advocacy groups warn that plastics are falling from the sky8 and have become a global tragedy,9 the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the plastic problem to even greater heights.

articles.mercola.com < continue reading