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Scientists confirm that microplastics are now detected in human testicles: ScienceAlert

We can now add testicles to the list of places where microplastics have managed to spread – alongside human placentas, ancient rocks, clogged arteries, blue whales, baby droppings, the wilds of Antarctica, near the summit of Mount Everest and the foot of Everest. ocean.

Research from the University of New Mexico examined testicular tissue taken from dogs and humans, and found microplastics in every sample, with an abundance almost three times higher in humans than in dogs.

The team found an average of 122.63 micrograms of microplastics per gram of tissue in dogs and 329.44 micrograms per gram in humans.

As well as giving us another sobering reminder of how plastic pollution gets into every part of our bodies, the study raises worrying questions about the impact these microscopic fragments could have on male fertility.

“At first, I doubted whether microplastics could enter the reproductive system,” says Xiaozhong Yu, an environmental health specialist from the University of New Mexico.

“When I first received the results for dogs, I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I received the results for humans.”

Of the 12 different types of microplastics identified, the plastic polymer that researchers discovered most in both dogs and humans was polyethylene (PE) – used in the manufacture of plastic bags and plastic bottles, and a major contributor to our plastic pollution. issue.

Although human tissue could not be tested for sperm count, the researchers did so for the canine samples. They found that higher levels of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic correlated with lower sperm counts in the animals.

With PVC widely used in many industrial and household products, there are concerns that plastic could contribute to falling sperm counts worldwide – already linked to heavy metals, pesticides and various chemicals – even if the results of the PVCs observed in dogs would. Of course this needs to happen again in men so that we can understand if the same thing happens in people.

“Plastic makes a difference: what type of plastic can be correlated with a potential function,” says Yu.

“PVC can release many chemicals that interfere with spermatogenesis and contains chemicals that cause endocrine disruption.”

The research team wanted to compare canine and human testicles because there are several biological similarities between our species and because our canine friends live alongside us and in the same types of environments.

We still don’t know exactly how microplastics might affect the human body in the long term, although previous research has linked it to serious inflammatory responses and digestive system problems.

Whether it’s the human body or the natural world, all these synthetic and non-biodegradable materials can serve no purpose. The question is whether it is already too late to do something to remove it.

“We don’t want to scare people,” says Yu. “We want to provide scientific data and make people aware that there is a large amount of microplastics.

“We can make our own choices to better avoid exposure, change our lifestyle and change our behavior.”

The research was published in Toxicological sciences.

News Source : www.sciencealert.com
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