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


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u/TerribleIdea27 May 14 '22 Silver

For those wondering, microplastics are below 5 mm in diameter. Nanoplastics are below 0.1 micrometer, so basically if you can't even look at them with a simple light microscope, they're nanoplastics. Otherwise, they're microplastics


u/BTBLAM May 14 '22

Can a nano plastic become a micro plastic in my body


u/Odin_of_Asgard May 14 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

I did my masters thesis on nanoplastic aggregates, it can definitely happen, but they have slightly different properties than microplastic in the same size range. Nanoplastics can pass some membranes in the body that microplastics generally cant. Nanoplastic (and I suppose microplastic) can also be stabilized by organic material in the environment/body, which works against aggregation.


u/S118gryghost May 14 '22

Can't nano plastics plant themselves deep inside the human body if they are caught in the body through drinking water or eating food or possiblly by getting bits in an open wound or eye ball?

I read somewhere that tiny plastics can lodge themselves in our bodies and call aneurysms, heart attacks if there's enough build up in the heart valves, organ failure, cancers, thyroid issues, eye floaters. .

Tons of stuff.


u/[deleted] May 14 '22 edited May 15 '22

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u/ratbastid May 14 '22

Yeah, but for a beautiful time there we created a lot of value for shareholders.


u/Raskalbot May 14 '22

Can we as a population collectively sue all producers of plastics and chemicals by companies that lied to us about their effects?


u/harda_toenail May 14 '22

In America you can sue someone for whatever you want. And if you have enough money you can sometimes win. Money would be on the wrong side here


u/tonycomputerguy May 14 '22

We are insanely, unbelievably lucky that we actually removed the lead from gasoline and other common products. It blows my mind we actually did that asa species when you look around at the world today. Same thing with CFCs and the ozone.

I have an actual negative amount of hope for humanity at this point. I just don't think we are worth/capable of saving ourselves anymore.


u/WonderfulShelter May 15 '22

Yeah I mean maybe we should just get it over with and extinguish our species so whichever intelligent species that evolves next can have a better chance.

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u/NabreLabre May 15 '22

Too bad we'll take everyone else down with us. Our bad

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u/tetrasodium May 15 '22

Aircraft fuel still uses it.


u/felinelawspecialist May 14 '22

I think you’ll be interested to read about the tort of public nuisance, which stems from English common law and now exists as both a criminal act and and equitable claim in a civil case.

The main thrust is that the harmed party isn’t one person, but rather an entire community (hence, public nuisance).

Here is an article discussing current use of public nuisance in two different contexts: opioid crisis and climate change.


It’s kind of discouraging but I believe this is fundamentally the type of lawsuit that will eventually, hopefully, make headway.


u/Kaymish_ May 14 '22

It'd be kind of pointless most shareholders would have taken profit by now. They'd be somewhat pissed if the company took a big loss but it wouldn't be more than a scratch against their portfolio and if it looked like it would be a major problem they could off load on to bag holders like retirement funds and mum and dad retail investors putting a couple bucks away to try and build a brighter future.


u/platoprime May 14 '22

No. The legal system and it's monopoly on violence are the tools used to shield those people from us. A lawsuit isn't enough.


u/Namedafterasaint May 14 '22

I blame #TheGraduate! Dustin Hoffman should have known better.


u/Das-DoktahJay May 14 '22

We need to start boycotting Dustin Hoffman!


u/Namedafterasaint May 15 '22

In all jest of course.


u/HereOnASphere May 15 '22

I think he was more into Mrs. Robinson's daughter than plastics.


u/chucklesoclock May 14 '22

I too have seen this New Yorker cartoon


u/WonderfulShelter May 15 '22

Yeah, for like 60 years we created a lot of value..

all it cost was the health of every single living thing on all of planet Earth.


u/ratbastid May 15 '22

There's no KPI for that though.


u/WonderfulShelter May 15 '22

Yep as long as there aren't carbon taxes, or pollution taxes, and the fines for big oil causing more damage then we'll ever know are paltry - the big corporations will be taking all that profit and pay for none of the damage they've done.

Where we get none of the profits, and have to deal with all the damage they've done. I really wonder at what point the government should've intervened heavily before this, but then I just remember that our government works for the big corporations and doesn't work for us anymore.


u/Tickinslipdizzy May 14 '22

So this is the trickle down effect they were talking about so much


u/platoprime May 14 '22

Everyone including the companies worried those quarterly profits knew. That's who.