Microplastics linked to Stroke, Heart Attack and Mortality Risk

by | Mar 20, 2024 | News, Toxic Chemicals

Researchers found that microplastics in arterial plaque were associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

What are Microplastics?

Microplastics are tiny particles of plastic, typically less than 5 millimeters in size, that originate from the breakdown of larger plastic products or are intentionally manufactured for specific purposes. These particles can be found in various environments, including oceans, rivers, soil, air, and even food and beverages.

Due to their small size and widespread distribution, microplastics pose environmental and health concerns as they can be ingested or inhaled by humans and wildlife, potentially causing harm.

Health Impacts of Microplastics

A study found the presence of microplastics in arterial plaque in humans.

In this study, researchers used powerful microscopes to see tiny foreign particles, like bits of metal, mixed with plaque in the arteries of some patients.

Researchers found the presence of polyethylene microplastics in nearly 60% of patients, while polyvinyl chloride microplastics were discovered in about 12%. Patients with these particles were more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, or even die compared to those without them. This suggests that these particles could be linked to serious heart problems.

Polyethylene microplastics (PE) and polyvinyl chloride microplastics (PVC) can be found in various sources, including but not limited to plastic packaging, synthetic textiles, personal care products, and industrial materials.

Despite growing recognition of microplastics as an environmental hazard, the health effects of these minute particles still aren’t well understood.

Understanding how these particles affect our arteries could help us better prevent heart disease.

Sources:

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2309822?articleTools=true

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