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Inhaled Microplastics Could Affect Sex Hormones

Phoebe Stapleton Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute

Microplastics may be more dangerous than first thought after a new study demonstrated that the substances were not only dangerous as chemicals but could also produce a hormone-disrupting effect when inhaled.

For humans, disruptions to sex hormones can impact the body’s fertility and metabolism, which researchers argue could be behind the recently declining fertility and increasing obesity rates around the globe.

Additionally, inhalation of such plastic chemicals can also generate pulmonary inflammation, as well as cardiovascular dysfunction and systematic inflammation.

MNPs can be found both in indoor and outdoor environments making it hard for humans to avoid them.

The trial, which was undertaken by the  Rutgers laboratory, showed that MNPs (microscale and nanoscale particles) of the known plastic polyamide—also known as nylon—can produce endocrine-disrupting effects when inhaled by female rats in laboratory conditions, using concentrations that are experienced by humans.

“This is one of the first studies to show endocrine disrupting effects from a plastic particle itself, not based on exposure to the plasticizing chemical,” explained Phoebe Stapleton, PhD, assistant professor at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and senior author of the study, in an interview for Rutgers Research.

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Source: The Epoch Times (Epoch Health) – May 12, 2023

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