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Microplastics found in human blood

Published: 4th Apr, 2022


Researchers from Netherlands had found Microplastic constituents in the human blood for the first time


What are microplastics?

  • Tiny particles of plastic measuring less than 5mm in diameter is termed as microplastic.
  • They are one of the major pollutants of land and ocean.

Impacts of microplastic

  • On Oceans: Microplastics are source of pollution in oceans they accumulate by breaking into small constituent particles and settle down inside the ocean residing inside for many years without degrading.
    • According to the IUCN, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year and make up about 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.
    • As perUNEP, in the last four decades, concentrations of these particles appear to have increased significantly in the surface waters of the ocean.
  • On marine organisms: Marine organisms such as fish, crabs, prawns consume these minute plastic particles and thus add them to the food chain and leads to bioaccumulation.
  • On land: Microplastics are major pollutant of land as they leach in the water bodies such as rivers and lakes through soil.
  • Agriculture and plant health is affected.
  • On humans: Human health is a matter of concern as plastic is used by us in our day to day routine and unknowingly we are consuming it in the form of microplastics.
  • Thus it add to human blood and even can accumulate in organs.
  • A study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Naturerevealed that an average person consumed 5 grams of plastic.

Initiatives taken against microplastics

  • Global initiatives: Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML): The GMPL was launched at the Earth Summit in 2012 in response to a request set out in the Manila Declaration.
    • Under the Manila Declaration, 65 signatories reaffirmed their commitment to develop policies to reduce and control wastewater, marine litter and pollution from fertilizers.
  • Elimination of single use plastic in India: the use of single use plastic has been banned by the prime minister in 2019.
    • This has made awareness about the health hazards of thin plastic by us in daily life.
  • Plastic waste management rules, 2016 state that every local body has to be responsible for setting up infrastructure for segregation, collection, processing, and disposal of plastic waste.

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