Microplastics From Masks Found Deep in Lungs of the Living

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Choo Choo

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Microplastics

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

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.

Study Finds Microplastics in 11 Out of 13 Patient’s Lungs

Decades of research have shown that people breathe in microparticles of air pollution as well as consume them in food and water. A 2021 autopsy study10 showed microplastics in 13 of the 20 people analyzed and over 20 years ago a 1998 U.S. lung cancer study11 found plastic and fibers in 99 of the 114 lung samples that were examined.

According to the Natural History Museum,12 microplastics measure less than 5 millimeters. They call microplastics “one of the greatest man-made disasters of our time.” While there are industrial uses for microplastics, most form when they break away from larger plastic products in the environment.

Primary microplastics are those produced in small sizes for industrial use, such as in sandblasters, cosmetics or microfiber clothing. Secondary microplastics result from the breakdown of larger plastic products cau…

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