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First evidence of damage from nanoplastics on humans, risks to the heart double

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First evidence of damage from nanoplastics on humans, risks to the heart double

“Nanoplastics Found in Atherosclerotic Plaques Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Risk”

A groundbreaking study led by the University of Campania ‘Vanvitelli’ has identified the presence of nanoplastics in atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, revealing the serious health consequences associated with plastic pollution. Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the study marks the first time that the harmful effects of nanoplastics on human health have been proven.

Collaborating with various institutions including Harvard Medical School and the universities of Ancona, Rome, and Salerno, the research team found that ‘polluted’ plaques containing nanoplastics were more inflamed and significantly increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes by over 2-fold. The discovery has been described as “revolutionary” by the journal, highlighting the urgent need to address the growing threat of plastic pollutants.

During the study, 257 individuals over the age of 65 underwent carotid endarterectomy to remove atherosclerotic plaques, which were then examined under an electron microscope. The results revealed the presence of polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride nanoplastics in a significant percentage of cases, with associated risks of cardiovascular events and mortality.

These findings underscore the escalating dangers posed by plastic pollution to human health and the environment. The study serves as a critical wake-up call, emphasizing the pressing need for action to mitigate the impact of micro and nanoplastics on cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

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