Microplastics (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     18th August 2023        
Samadhaan

Context:  According to the latest study published by the American Chemical Society, team of scientists in China have found microplastics in the human heart for the first time.

  • Plastics have been causing grave problems on planet Earth. Plastic pollution has led to many environment-related issues around us. Studies have shown that microplastics have even made their way into the body of living creatures.
  • Notably, microplastics can be lesser than 5 millimeters wide and can enter the human body through the mouth, nose and other cavities in the body.

About Microplastics:

  • Microplastics are minute fragments of diverse plastic materials present in the surroundings.
  • These minute plastic particles pose a threat to marine environments and the creatures that inhabit them.
  • Recent study revealed a groundbreaking discovery: microplastics, which are minuscule plastic particles, have been identified in human blood for the very first time.
  • Two main categories of Microplastics

?Primary microplastics are released into the environment from a variety of sources.

?Secondary microplastics:  are created when larger plastics break down.

  • Concerns related to microplastics

?Microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory.

?It has the potential to adhere to the outer membranes of red blood cells, possibly restricting their capacity to carry oxygen.

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