The first microplastic particles appear in human placenta, baby may be contaminated?

2020-12-30 | Zhong Ming talks about science Original |

Recently, the research team of the Benifretri Hospital in Rome discovered plastic microparticles with a diameter of about 5-10 μm in human placenta. This is the first time that scientists have discovered plastic microparticles from human placenta.

During the research process, the research team established a plastic-free environment in the laboratory to ensure that the human placenta is not contaminated by the external plastic environment, and during the delivery of pregnant women who donated the placenta, doctors and midwivesPlastic products.

However, of the 6 donated placentas, 4 of them were detected with microplastic particles. There were 12 microplastic fragments of varying sizes, each with pigmentation. 3 of them were identified asThe thermoplastic polymer polypropylene, and the other 9 identified pigments are mostly used in artificial coatings, paints and cosmetics.

Some people may say that it means that 12 microplastic particles have been detected. They do not account for a large proportion of the human placenta. But what should be known is that the scientists only detected 3% of the placenta this time.97% of the tissues were not sampled.

In the past, scientists have found microplastic particles from other parts of the human body. For example, scientists have detected a variety of microplastic particles in human stool. But it is the first time that microplastic particles have been detected in the placenta. This is becauseThe placenta system is relatively closed compared to the intestine, and microplastic particles are difficult to enter here. Nowadays, microplastic particles have been found in the human placenta, which means that plastic pollution is far more serious than we thought.

Plastic micro-particles are an intrusion to the human body. Like viruses and bacteria, they can cause an immune response in the human body. The placenta is an important channel for communication between pregnant women and fetuses. Researchers said that the micro-plastic particles in the placenta may beSome harmful chemicals provide a way to damage the fetal immune system. However, because the research is not thorough enough, we do not yet know how many microplastic particles are contained in the placenta, and how high the concentration of microplastic particles will cause harm to babies, And what harm it brings.

Pollution of microplastic particles

Microplastic particles are a concept proposed by Thompson and others from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom in 2004. They refer to plastic fragments and particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm as "microplastic particles".

Plastic products are difficult to decompose and can be stored in nature for a long time. Under the action of natural wind and rain, these plastic products will decompose into very tiny fragments and enter the food chain with the environment.

Plastic fragments with a diameter of less than 5 mm can just be preyed by plankton, but they cannot digest microplastic particles, resulting in the continuous accumulation of microplastic particles in the body, and they continue to accumulate to higher nutritional level animals along the food chain.

At present, scientists have found microplastic particles in soil, earthworms and hen stomachs. This also shows that microplastic particles in terrestrial organisms are very common. The ocean is the hardest hit area, sea salt, turtles andMicroplastic particles have been detected in fish. Scientists have found that microplastic particles can affect the growth, development and reproduction of marine organisms.

Whether it is marine organisms or terrestrial organisms, most organisms will enter the human table, which means that microplastic particles will be enriched in the human body through food, causing the number of microplastic particles in the body to exceed the standard.

It's just that due to the limited research nowadays, we don't know what impact microplastic particles have on humans after entering the human body, and how deep the impact is.

But in order to protect the environment and reduce the impact of microplastic particles on organisms, many countries have implemented plastic restriction orders. However, we cannot do without plastic products in the process of life, even if plastic restriction orders are issued to protect the environmentLimited. Perhaps only scientists can invent a product that can completely solve plastic pollution, which can not pollute the environment, can be quickly biodegraded, and is inexpensive, and can be mass-produced to meet people's needs.

At the same time, we also need to find a way to clean up the existing microplastic particles and thoroughly clean these pollutants out of the earth.


The degree of harm of microplastic particles is even greater than that of plastic products. This is because the microplastic particles have a small diameter and are difficult to observe with the naked eye, and they are too numerous to prevent.

The most important way to prevent microplastic particles is to reduce the use of plastics, but there are no products that can replace plastics. Perhaps the real solution is to find alternative products and invent ways to clean microplastics particles.

Just before finding these methods, reducing the use of plastic products is one of the few things we can do.

Special statement

This article was uploaded and published on Baidu Know Daily from the media, the author, etc. It only represents the author's views, and does not mean that Baidu knows the views or positions of the daily, and knows that the daily only provides an information publishing platform. For cooperation and contributions, please contact

+1 Like it Like

Follow the author

Zhong Ming talks about science
A serious talk about science

Know the popular articles in daily newspapers e-mail: