Polypropylene, a key ingredient in the ubiquitous disposable blue hospital surgical face masks; confirmed 'detection of this microplastic in human lung tissue using μFTIR spectroscopy' (Jenner et al.)
by Paul Alexander
They are now supported by this very recent publication and raises serious concerns.
“…In summary, this study is the first to report MPs within human lung tissue samples, using μFTIR spectroscopy. The abundance of MPs within samples, significantly above that of blanks, supports human inhalation as a route of environmental exposure…The microplastics (MPs) levels within tissue samples were significantly higher than those identified within combined procedural/laboratory blanks (n = 9 MPs, with a mean ± SD of 0.53 ± 1.07, p = 0.001). Of the MPs detected, 12 polymer types were identified with polypropylene, PP (23%), polyethylene terephthalate, PET (18%) and resin (15%) the most abundant. MPs (unadjusted) were identified within all regions of the lung categorised as upper (0.80 ± 0.96 MP/g), middle/lingular (0.41 ± 0.37 MP/g), and with significantly higher levels detected in the lower (3.12 ± 1.30 MP/g) region compared with the upper (p = 0.026) and mid (p = 0.038) lung regions. After subtracting blanks, these levels became 0.23 ± 0.28, 0.33 ± 0.37 and 1.65 ± 0.88 MP/g respectively. The study demonstrates the highest level of contamination control and reports unadjusted values alongside different contamination adjustment techniques. These results support inhalation as a route of exposure for environmental MPs…”