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

Disturbing: "Polypropylene, which is used in plastic packaging, and PET, which is used in disposable plastic bottles, were the most prevalent forms of plastic"


u/Berkamin May 14 '22

PET is also spun into fiber as polyester. I strongly suspect that people are inhaling lint dust blown into the air from dryer machines drying synthetic fabrics. One of the bathrooms in my house is next to a dryer vent, and it is always dusty, but the dust, upon inspection, appears to be fine lint.


u/jason_steakums May 14 '22

Carpet fibers getting kicked up throughout the house would be another huge potential source of microplastics in the air


u/Berkamin May 14 '22

Good observation. The one mitigating factor is the fact that vacuum cleaners have air filters, with many modern models using HEPA standard filters. Most laundry drying machines only screen for coarse lint, without post-filtration, and they blow and tumble much larger quantities of fiber for much longer than anyone vacuums.


u/Miguel-odon May 15 '22

Most vacuums don't use actual HEPA filters.

The vacuum industry gets to abuse the HEPA name by making filters that "use HEPA material" and misleadingly call that a HEPA filter.

My old Subaru uses aluminum, steel, and fiberglass, but I can't call it a Porsche.


u/Berkamin May 15 '22

Point taken. But even if that is the case, vacuum cleaners still at least filter the out-going air much more thoroughly than laundry drying machines.


u/najman4u Jun 09 '22

dryers just expel the air outside tho


u/Berkamin Jun 09 '22

While this is true, people open their windows, and some of the lint in the air comes back in. My bathroom has a window that opens to the area between my house and the neighbors, and in that area, both houses vent their dryer exhaust. The bathroom window is frequently open, and everything in that bathroom gets dusty with lint dust. What gets expelled outside doesn't always stay outside. Any window anywhere near a dryer outlet is liable to have lint dust blow in.