The Price of Progress

microplasticsFrom The Brussel Times

What is happening in our bodies?

This is a question asked in an article published by The Guardian entitled, “Microplastics found in human blood for first time.”

The lead sentence states:

Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested.

I think most all of us are aware of the “plastics” problem that exists throughout the world (“microplastics now contaminate the entire planet”) and that it is increasing daily. But now they’re discovering plastic in the human body!

According to the article, researches are concerned because …

microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.

The big question being asked is … are the microplastic levels high enough to trigger disease?

Apparently, babies are particularly susceptible because so many are fed from plastic bottles. But adults are not immune since much of today’s food and drink is packaged in PET plastic. In fact, according to the article, even plastic carrier bags can be unsafe.

The research is ongoing and it is a pioneering study, but one that is vital to our health since “Plastic production is set to double by 2040.”

As we consider the ramifications of the study, it’s a bit unnerving since so much of today’s food and drink is packaged in plastic. Nearly gone are the days of glass packaging — and even many items that used to be packaged in cans are now in plastic containers.

One wonders if the price of progress is really worth it in the long run.

28 thoughts on “The Price of Progress

  1. …Is the price of progress is really worth it in the long run?

    Given the origin of plastics, i.e. oil, fossil fuels, petro-chemical refineries, petroleum-plastic manufacturers, the exact same crude materials that are killing our planet’s ecosystems top-to-bottom… it hasn’t been worth it for several decades now, particularly in the 1970’s when we KNEW all this was bad for our atmosphere with Greenhouse Effects.

    Hey, human race! When are you going to WAKE UP and realize you are going extinct by killing yourself and the very kitchen you eat in… UNLESS you make some huge, major changes to your lifestyles, right NOW!? SMH 🤦‍♂️

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I am deeply suspicious of Teflon, too… from coatings to clothing to fire retardant processes. It’s very hard to avoid exposure to it. In Canada, we have a federally mandated chemicals management plan that assesses various chemical risks, so bisphenol A (BPA), for example, was banned for use in baby products and interior lining of cans (2008) for the very concern you raise here.

    We use a lot of glass and ceramics related to food in our household (and buy real food with little processed food) but it’s very frustrating to face the amount of (almost needless and seemingly endless) plastic packaging. I still think if retailers/shippers were responsible for the cost and handling of recycling every scrap of this waste, it would be reduced drastically and quickly at the production source. I’m a fan of metal and paper: sustainable, biodegradable, easily recyclable.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. “ and even many items that used to be packaged in cans are now in plastic containers. ”

    Don’t count on canned food. Modern cans are lined with a plastic membrane that helps the food slide out and prevents spoilage if the can is dented.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I want to see plastics banned, but I have to question where the microplsstics are actually coming from? Not being a scientist, I do not know. But are the microplastics found in human blood coming directly from the “cold hard plastics” containers, or are they coming from degraded plastics eaten by something in our food chains, and passed from level to level until they get into us through the flesh of the proteins or plant foods we eat, or through heating things contained in plastics in microwaves, or putting hot foods and hot liquids in plastic serving containers? I would think that food stored in plastics kept at stable temperatures are less dangerous than foods heated or cooked in those containers.
    Mind you, the cold plastics still end up in landfills or waterways (not all plastics are recyclable, and not everyone recycles the plastics that should be recycled) where they slowly degrade, and get eaten by things in the food chain?
    Just asking.
    But really, we have to STOP using ALL HYDROCARBONS, but the capitalists do not give a shit about living beings and how their products affect them. They think their money protects them. And by the time they realize how wrong they are, it will be too late not only for them, it will be too late for all life! (Sorry for the length, but how else could I say all that?)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We’re going to hell in a hand basket, and it’s made from plastic. Probably Chinese plastic.

    I found some wide mouth, 24 ounce, stainless, drink containers in Wally World a few years back. We now take take our own, very good well water, with us on road trips and river outings. No more plastic bottles! We were buying water by the boatload, all in plastic bottles, for years. We decided we had to change our ways.

    You can’t get away from plastic completely, it’s impossible. But cutting back where you can has to help… At least we feel better about not adding our plastic water bottle waste to the landfill. Which was significant.

    Plus you save $$$$ in the long run. I’m sure you have seen how much one bottle of water costs in a convenience store. The stainless containers we have, have paid for themselves many times over and still going strong. They are scuffed, dented, used, abused, and still do the job. It’s a no brainer.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I like my beer out of glass, I never buy bottled water and use a glass bottle. Am I saved? I doubt it, the water regardless of where it comes from will have plastic or some harmful chemical. With the diseases, viruses and wars life is a mine field. Apart from that have a good weekend everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My other-half is what some might consider a “survivalist” because he is adamant about having plenty of food, medical supplies, water, etc. in case of emergency.

      Obviously, the only way water can be stored is in plastic bottles (unless, of course, you live where you have access to a well). It’s not the ideal solution, for sure, but there’s not a whole lot of alternatives.

      Having said that, I tend to agree with you that nothing is truly “pure” these days. Even rain water is tainted when one considers all the “stuff” that humans have put into the air.

      You have a good weekend too!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It may be that the BPA’s in the containers only become toxic when food more water is heated in them or they are used beyond their original purpose.

        Like Republicans and Christians, plastics should be suspect.

        We normally learn about the downside of progress after we have enjoyed its benefits for a time. It should not be so because we pay for scientists in the FDA to make sure we are properly protected. Yet chemicals like DDT and Thalidomide have sneaked by. Too often, though, our taxpayer-supported scientists support the industry they are supposed to police.

        Come. Ler us reason together. What the eff?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s really sad that microplastics have been found in the human blood but it is not (unfortunately) shocking. The average person is exposed to a staggering amount of plastic every day, and much of it ends up in our waterways and oceans.

    Microplastics are particularly dangerous because they can absorb toxins from the environment and then be ingested by marine life. These toxins can then end up in the food chain, and eventually in humans.

    There are a few things we can do to reduce our exposure to microplastics. One is to avoid using single-use plastic items whenever possible. Another is to properly dispose of any plastic waste we do generate. Choose to support companies that are working to reduce or eliminate plastics in their products.

    By taking these steps, we can help protect our environment and our health from the dangers of microplastics.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree … it’s not shocking. Just very unfortunate. But IMO, this is only one of the many ways that humans are destroying themselves through “improvements” and changes to our living conditions — most of which are instigated by those who want to line their pockets with more and more $$$$$.


  8. How long will it take us to realize all the problems related to microplastics in our systems? We don’t yet know if they are the worst danger. A few years ago I saw the results of marine life consuming plastics. Turtles and seabirds dying of starvation because their systems were clogged with indigestible plastics.

    Who is studying the effects on our bodies?


    Liked by 1 person

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