According to research published on February 24, textile microplastics can inhibit the ability of the lungs to repair damage caused by conditions such as COVID-19.
Finding that both nylon and polyester negatively affected the growth and repair of airway tissue, researchers at the University of Groningen, the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research and Plymouth Marine Laboratories said microfibers could make it harder for those with COVID-19 lungs to repair.
Speaking on The Plastic Health Channel, the researchers uncovered findings that appear to reveal that microfiber from textiles can harm the growth, development and repair of the lungs.
Since people are exposed to microplastic fibers on a daily basis, scientists have also warned of potential health risks for those who have developing lungs, such as children.
Professor Barbro Melgert, lead researcher, said: “The virus damages your lungs so you need a repair, and if your lungs are filled with fibers that inhibit this repair, in addition to COVID-19, another problem awaits you. ”
Researchers exposed airway organoids and air sacs (miniature lungs) to nylon and polyester microfibers for 14 days to determine their impact, using fibers small enough to inhale.
The data obtained suggest that microplastic textile fibers may be particularly harmful to developing or repairing airways.
Researchers have focused on polyester and nylon because they are the most common material indoors, where people spend most of their time.
It is based on the research of dr. Francien van Dijk and his colleagues on the impact of microplastics on the lungs, which was presented at the Plastic Health Summit in 2019.
Another study, which will also be published on The Plastic Health Channel, revealed that nanoplastics in the air travel from the lungs of pregnant rats to their fetus.
The study saw pregnant rats exposed to nanoplastics by inhalation before scientists measured the amount of plastic in maternal and fetal tissue.
Nanoplasty was found in the lungs and heart of a pregnant rat, while it was also found in the liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain of the fetus.
Dr. Phoebe Stapleton from Rutgers University, who conducted the study, warned that the situation could also be the case with human lungs.
She said: “We need to better understand the overall exposure of people in the beginning. We need to identify the chemicals in this nanoplastic. ”
Both studies appear to raise serious concerns about the impact of microplastics entering the body, and experts at The Plastic Health Channel are concerned about how they affect those suffering from COVID-19.
The Plastic Health Channel is organized and produced by the Amsterdam-based Plastic Soup Foundation, with the aim of in-depth study of research and studies on the impact of plastics on human health.
Speaking on The Plastic Health Channel, Laura Díaz Sánchez, campaign for Ocean Clean Wash, warned that microfibers from clothing are present indoors, as well as spillage during washing.
She said: “More than half of the clothes we wear are made of materials like polyester. The problem with clothes made of materials like polyester, fibers that are short and pointed, is that they are much easier to release and then they are in the air in this dust. ”