Microplastics Have Now Reached The Human Placenta

We all know that plastic is polluting the world’s oceans and wilderness landscapes, it is penetrating our bodies through the water and food, the air we breathe and even through the cosmetics we use.


The first evidence of microplastics in human placenta has been reported via a new study published in the Environmental International Journal.

Scientists found microplastic fragments in human placenta samples collected from 6 consenting women patients through Raman Microspectroscopy – a widely applied method in the biomedical area for the characterization of biological samples and detection of microplastics occurrence and microparticles in general.

As a result, 12 microplastic fragments (ranging from 5 to 10 μm in size) were identified in 67% of sample studied, i.e. 4 placentas (5 in the fetal side, 4 in the maternal side and 3 in the chorioamniotic membranes).

All microplastics particles were pigmented. Three were recognized as polypropylene commonly applied for food containers and packaging. The other nine were identified only as pigments – usually found in a wide variety of cosmetics, such as BB creams, formulations of soap, lipstick, mascara, eye shadow and other make-up products.

The researchers highlight that it is a great concern, as the placenta plays a vital role in fetal development. Thus, the further research on microplastics and analysis of corresponding immune mechanisms will be conducted. This study is alarming and driving us towards further development of bio-based and biodegradable microbeads for cosmetic applications.

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