The plastic waste that we throw away every day is not biodegradable. And over time, these plastics break down into small pieces called microplastics.
The existence of these microplastics has become a new concern, because some time ago researchers found their presence in foodstuffs. These micro-sized plastics have been shown to be in some of the marine animals we eat every day.
With the presence of microplastics in the food we consume, the danger to human health has become a new problem. What are the dangers of microplastics to humans that you should know? Here’s the answer.
Damage Body Cells
In laboratory tests, microplastics have been shown to cause damage to human cells, including allergic reactions and cell death. However, so far there have been no large-scale epidemiological studies discussing the relationship between exposure to microplastics and their impact on health. But small studies has shown the concern over the negative effect of microplastic to human cells.
Bad Effect on Immunity
Citing KlikDokter, microplastics consumed by humans will cause DNA mutations and oxidative stress. This can then lower immunity and increase the risk of developing disease. The risk of disease expressed by a number of researchers due to microplastics is cancer and disorders of the nervous system.
Bisphenol A or BPA is a plastic material that is widely used in everyday life. When BPA is inhaled or ingested by humans, it can adversely affect the endocrine system that functions to produce hormones. If the endocrine system is disturbed, hormonal disturbances can occur which can then be harmful to the function of our organs.
Microplastics can also enter our respiratory tract. The odds are even higher, because the human lung has a large surface area, while the foreign tissue barrier is thin. Therefore, small particles such as microplastics can penetrate the lungs. When it enters the respiratory system, the effects are respiratory disorders, inflammation, to autoimmune diseases.
Tips to Avoid Microplastics
The dangers of microplastics to human health actually still need to be proven through more large-scale studies. However, there is nothing wrong if we try to reduce the entry of these small plastics into the body. However, foreign objects that accumulate in the body can adversely affect health.
The main thing we can do to avoid microplastics is of course to reduce the use of plastics. Also try not to use plastic packaging when buying food or groceries. In addition, you should reduce the consumption of seafood, especially shellfish.