via American Chemical Society
Nanoplastics can disrupt human liver, lung cells’ processes in lab experiments
What happens when people unknowingly eat, drink or inhale nearly invisible pieces of plastic? Although it’s unclear what impact this really has on humans, researchers have now taken a step toward answering that question. In ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, a team reports laboratory results indicating that tiny plastic particles could enter liver and lung cells and disrupt their regular processes, potentially causing adverse health outcomes.
Plastic can’t be avoided in daily life. Many products that we bring into our homes are made of plastic or wrapped in plastic packaging — all of which could release micro- and nanometer-sized pieces that could be accidentally consumed or inhaled. Although the health risks to humans from taking in nanoplastics isn’t entirely clear, researchers recently have shown that particles less than 100 nm-wide can enter animals’ blood and organs, causing inflammation, toxicity and neurological changes. So, Zongwei Cai, Chunmiao Zheng and colleagues wanted to examine the molecular-level and metabolic impacts when human lung and liver cells are exposed to similarly sized nanoplastics.
The researchers cultured human liver and lung cells separately in laboratory plates and treated them with different amounts of 80 nm-wide plastic particles. After two days, electron microscopy images showed that nanoplastics had entered both types of cells without killing them.
To learn more about what happened to the cells, the researchers looked at the compounds released by mitochondria — crucial energy-producing organelles that are thought to be sensitive to nanoplastics — during metabolism. As liver and lung cells were exposed to more nanoplastics, they produced more reactive oxygen species and different amounts of nucleotides, nucleosides, amino acids, peptides and carboxylic acids, indicating that multiple metabolic processes were disturbed. In some cases, mitochondrial pathways appeared to be dysfunctional. These observations demonstrate that while nanoplastics exposure doesn’t kill human lung and liver cells, it could disrupt critical processes, potentially causing negative impacts to organs, the researchers say.
The Latest Updates from Bing News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Research Begins To Reduce Shed Of Microplastics During Laundering
“As part of our research, we will investigate potential solutions including the pre-treatment of textiles to reduce the shedding of microplastics, or even increasing the size of the plastics that ...
- Can probiotics like yoghurt cancel out the microplastics in your stomach? What the research says
Microplastics’ is a scary word - and it seems we’re finding more and more ways that these little particles could be affecting our bodies.But new research suggests that probiotics could help us defend ...
- Microplastics were found in D.C. rivers. Researchers want to find why.
Researchers who found microplastics in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers received funding to expand their study.
- The microplastics mania: Arizona researchers make unexpected discoveries in soil around the Valley
P HOENIX, ARIZONA: Researchers at Arizona State University are making unexpected discoveries in the soil around the Phoenix metro area. In addition to finding desert creatures and the fungus that ...
- Microplastics found in clouds could affect weather and global temperatures
Scientists in eastern China find 24 out of 28 water samples have plastic particles commonly seen in synthetic fibers and packaging ...
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Q&A: Our addiction to plastic has to end, No More Plastic founder says
At this year's Lisbon Web Summit, Euroviews talked to Rosalie Mann about the reasons why we are oblivious to the dangers plastic poses to our health and our environment, and the different ways to ...
- Nanoplastics Linked to Changes in Brain Proteins Associated With Parkinson's, Study Finds
Plastics are affecting our environment and possibly even our health in troubling ways – and the tiniest pieces have now been linked to changes in brain proteins associated with certain types of ...
- Study finds nanoplastics promote conditions for Parkinson's & dementia
The study suggests that the increasing presence of micro and nanoplastics in the environment poses a potential toxin challenge, emphasising the need for further investigation into their impact on the ...
- Nanoplastics promote conditions for Parkinson's, dementia: Study
Improperly disposed plastics have been shown to break into very small pieces and accumulate in water and food supplies, and were found in the blood of most adults in a recent study.
- Nanoplastics may promote conditions for Parkinson’s, dementia: Study
Researchers have found that nanoplastics impact a specific protein found in the brain, causing changes linked to Parkinson’s disease and other types of dementia, a new study has shown. The study, ...