State PCS

Edit Template
Edit Template

Microplastics Found in Human Hearts

Recently: Researchers collected heart tissue samples from 15 people during cardiac surgeries, as well as pre-and post-operation.....Microplastics in Human Heart

Recently: Researchers collected heart tissue samples from 15 people during cardiac surgeries, as well as pre-and post-operation blood specimens from half of the participants. 

About Findings:

  • For the first time, they have detected microplastics in human hearts.
  • Researchers found these incredibly small particles, occasionally as tiny as a grain of sand, within the heart tissues of individuals from various locations.
  • This finding is making people worry about how widespread plastic pollution is.
  • It also makes us think about how plastic might affect our health.
  • This discovery has serious implications for both pollution and human well-being.

What are Microplastic?

  • Microplastics are those particles with less than 5 millimeters (0.2 inches).
  • There are two types:
    • primary microplastics and
    • secondary microplastics.
  • Primary microplastics are directly designed for commercial purposes:
  • Nurdles: small pellets that put together, melted and molded to make larger plastic shapes;
  • Microbeads: which are used in personal care products to help scrub off dead skin;
  • Fibers: Synthetic plastic fibers like nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) constitute the composition of many contemporary clothes.
  • Large, original plastic pieces break down into millions of smaller pieces, forming secondary microplastics.

What are the Major sources of Microplastics?

  • Plastic materials originate either on land or in the ocean.
  • Around 70-80% of ocean plastics have land-based sources, while 20-30% of plastics come from marine sources.
  • Of the plastic materials coming from marine sources, half is estimated to be caused by fishing fleets that leave behind fishing nets, lines, ropes, and sometimes abandoned vessels.
  • Regarding land waste, discarded plastic materials enter the marine environment as trash, industrial discharge, or litter via inland waterways, wastewater outflows, and wind transport.
  • Within the waste management system, 25% of land-based discharges originate, while the largest portion of 75% constitutes uncollected waste.

What Is the Path of Contamination?

  • Plastic waste is entering oceans, water sources, and the air we breathe, leading to a concern.
  • Plastic pollution is no longer limited to external environments; it is also infiltrating our bodies.

Implications for Human Health:

  • A case of the World Health Organization (WHO) claims with respect to drinking water, that “microplastics are increasingly found in drinking water, but there is no evidence so far that this poses a risk to humans.”
  • The human body’s excretory system likely eliminates over 90% of ingested micro- and nano-plastics through feces.
  • However, other studies suggest microplastics with particular characteristics can move across living cells and impact the immune system and cell health.
  • Ingested microplastics may cause inflammation in tissue, cellular proliferation, and necrosis and may compromise immune cells.
  • It is not yet clear if these microplastics can cross over from the bloodstream to deposit in organs and cause diseases. 
  • The human placenta has shown to be permeable to tiny particles of polystyrene ( 50, 80 and 24 nanometre beads). 
  • Rat lung exposure to 20 nanometre polystryrene spheres resulted in nanoparticles moving to placental and foetal tissue.
  • Microplastics harm cells, while air pollution particles lead to millions of premature deaths annually.

Call for Urgent Action:

  • Startling Wake-Up Call: Microplastics found in human hearts alert individuals, governments, and industries globally.
  • Urgent Action Required: Swift and collective actions are imperative to tackle plastic pollution. Production, consumption, and disposal habits need immediate rectification.
  • Strengthening Regulations: Governments should strengthen regulations to curb plastic production and its negative effects on the environment and health.
  • Industry Responsibility: Industries should adopt sustainable practices, prioritize alternatives to plastic, and minimize waste generation.
  • Individual Contributions: Individuals contribute by choosing eco-friendly options, reducing plastic use, and supporting recycling initiatives.
  • Global Effort: Microplastics in hearts highlight the global plastic pollution crisis, urging united efforts for effective solutions.


Microplastics in human hearts signal an urgent call to tackle plastic pollution, extending beyond a scientific milestone. It urges us to change habits, advocate change, and aid a cleaner, healthier planet through active participation. This discovery must drive us to safeguard our environment and well-being, propelling us toward a plastic-free future.

Read Also: What Is Climate Change? 

Demo Class/Enquiries

blog form

More Links
What's New
IAS NEXT is a topmost Coaching Institute offering guidance for Civil & Judicial services like UPSC, State PCS, PCS-J exams since more than 10 years.
Contact Us
Social Icon

Copyright ©  C S NEXT EDUCATION. All Rights Reserved