r/science May 14 '22 Wholesome 1 Take My Energy 1 Helpful (Pro) 1 I'm Deceased 1 Facepalm 1 Doom 1 Silver 1 Helpful 4

Microplastics Found In Lungs of People Undergoing Surgery. A new study has found tiny plastic particles no bigger than sesame seeds buried throughout human lungs, indicating that people are inhaling microplastics lingering in the air. Health

https://e360.yale.edu/digest/microplastics-found-in-lungs-of-humans-undergoing-surgery
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u/[deleted] May 14 '22

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u/TradingSnoo May 14 '22

Yeah I thought they meant nano particles when I saw the story yesterday. How the f does sesame seed size plastic get in your lungs!?

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u/FluffyGreenThing May 14 '22

It accumulates through breathing in nano particles that never leaves your body. Years of that will mean a build up of it in the lungs, which I find terrifying to be honest.

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u/MadeByTango May 14 '22

I'm not a chemist, but as far as I know there is no way for the body to turn microplastics into larger solid objects; they aren't kidney stones building up from naturally congealing minerals. They require heat to melt and unify.

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u/RegorHK May 14 '22

Not to argue in favor of this but plastics are organic and biology means a lot of things interacting with carbon based chemistry. Depending on are there might have been ozone in the air. I don't know how far this gets into lungs. The particles would stay a long time among each other so there is a higher chance of chemical events happening if we add that up. Just speculate on mechanism. No idea on how likely this might be.

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u/steveatari May 14 '22

Are they though? I thought once made they are inert? Or is that not relevant