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.