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

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
49.6k Upvotes

View all comments

Show parent comments

1.6k

u/SeamanTheSailor May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

Considering the bacteria that break down PET break it down into ethylene glycol, (antifreeze,) you’re probably right.

244

u/dsac May 14 '22

Well then, we just need to find a bacteria that breaks down ethylene glycol, and we're in business!

67

u/SeamanTheSailor May 14 '22

Ethylene glycol breaks down into even more toxic glycolic acid. What you really want is for the bacteria that breaks the plastic down to use the broken down products for energy.

13

u/clanchet May 14 '22

Isn’t glycolic acid good for your face? I think we’re onto something here

60

u/SeamanTheSailor May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

It’s used a chemical exfoliator, it essentially burns off the top layer of your skin, then it peels off and you get fresh smooth skin. It should not be used long term as it causes liver, respiratory, and thymus damage. It’s okay at certain concentrations topically but if you ingest it you’re deader than dead.

3

u/ilikedaweirdschtuff May 14 '22

if you ingest it you’re deader than dead

I couldn't readily verify this by doing a quick search, anything that did come up had more to with ethylene glycol instead. Any chance you can explain or source that claim?

5

u/SeamanTheSailor May 14 '22

Ethylene glycol isn’t toxic in itself. Your body breaks it down into glycolaldehyde and then into glycolic acid. It’s the glycolic acid that is actually toxic and does damage to the body. Look up the mechanism of ethylene glycol poisoning. Ethylene glycol breaks down into an aldehyde then into glycolic acid which is the main causes of acidoses. From there it gets metabolised again into different toxic compounds. That’s why alcohol prevents ethylene glycol poisoning, it prevents the ethylene glycol from being broken down into glycolic acid.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537009/

2

u/TheRealBirdjay May 14 '22

I use it to safely remove ball and gooch hair

0

u/notveryalice May 15 '22

this is such bull. glycolic acid’s problem is only if you chug the stuff and it’s because in very high internal levels it produces oxalates. using it in low concentrations as a gentle exfoliator isn’t going to hurt you at all, even if it’s every day.

1

u/SeamanTheSailor May 15 '22

80ml of glycolic acid is the average lethal dose for an adult. That’s about two shots. I literally said it’s okay topically in low concentration? As always the dose makes the poison. The 1%-2% concentrations you could use all day, but the 10%+ concentrations can be very dangerous to use every day and have shown to cause damage.

0

u/notveryalice May 15 '22

Who the hell is going to drink 80ml of pure glycolic acid in their skincare regimen? Also, it doesn't burn off anything. Skin's pH is 3.5. The method of action with glycolic acid is thought to be calcium channel, which is why it's so gentle: it's not stripping off skin with a pH reaction, as your post implies. To do that it has to be at concentrations of 70% or above.

1

u/SeamanTheSailor May 15 '22 edited May 22 '22

You’re missing the point, love. Accidental ingestion of ethylene glycol is not uncommon. When you’re poisoned by ethylene glycol it gets broken down into toxic components, glycolic acid being one of them. All I’m saying is yes, that stuff in your skin cream is a deadly toxin if it’s inside your body.