Saturday Apr 20, 2024

Plastics in our hearts

Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than five millimeters in size that result from the degradation of larger plastic items. Derived from synthetic materials such as polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride, plastics are known for their durability and low cost but pose significant environmental and health risks due to their inability to biodegrade. Microplastics, including even smaller nanoplastics, are found everywhere - in our food, water, air, and even within the human body, where they can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Italian researchers published their work in March 2024, found microplastics in the atherosclerotic plaques of patients with carotid artery stenosis. This presence of micro and nanoplastics was associated with higher levels of inflammation and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. While this finding indicates a correlation rather than causation, it raises concerns about the potential health impacts of microplastics. We provide practical advice on minimizing exposure to microplastics, such as avoiding single-use plastics, choosing products with minimal or no plastic packaging, and opting for natural fibers over synthetic ones.

 

00:00 Introduction to Plastics: Types and Properties

00:26 The Environmental and Health Impact of Microplastics

01:39 Investigating Microplastics in Human Arteries: A Groundbreaking Study

02:25 Study Findings: Microplastics in Atherosclerotic Plaques

03:12 Implications of the Study: Association vs. Causation

03:44 Practical Steps to Minimize Microplastic Exposure

04:47 Conclusion: The Challenge of Avoiding Microplastics

 

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