Take a peek around you. Whether you’re sitting at home, working from your office, or even out in the community, chances are you can identify some kind of plastic product nearby. In fact, the electronic device you’re likely reading this on right now probably contains some form of plastic.
Plastics are everywhere in our external world. But research is finding that all that plastic might actually be making its way inside our bodies too. In fact, tiny particles of plastic known as microplastics are even showing up in our blood.
Today we’re going to dive into exactly what microplastics are, how they’re making their way into our bloodstream and tissues, and explore what impact these plastic particles may have on our health. And most importantly, we’ll cover some practical ways you can protect yourself from this influx of microplastics in our world. Let’s dive in.
What Are Microplastics and Why Are They Harmful?
As the term “micro” implies, microplastics are tiny specks of plastic. These itty-bitty plastic fragments technically can range anywhere from the size of a grain of rice all the way down to microscopic. While these plastic specks may be tiny, the implications they can have for our environment and our health are anything but small.
You see, plastic takes hundreds of years to actually biodegrade. So over the years, each piece of plastic just continues to break into smaller and smaller pieces – until they become “microplastics”. And these microplastics are able to embed themselves in just about every nook and cranny of our world – from the food we eat to the air we breathe.1
What makes this even more concerning, is that with our reliance on plastics across the globe, the influx of microplastics isn’t slowing down anytime soon. So the question becomes, what kind of impact are these microplastics having on our long-term health?
What Does Plastic Do To Your Body?
Plastics are durable, malleable, water-resistant, and lightweight – making them one of the most useful and unique compounds created by mankind. But to achieve all those useful properties, plastics require a complex concoction of chemicals – many of which are not so useful when it comes to our health. Just a few of the toxic compounds used in plastics include:2,3,4
- Bisphenol a (BPA)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Heavy metals
These toxins have been linked to a whole host of serious health concerns such as:
- Heart problems
- Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders
- Birth defects
- Kidney and liver damage
While our bodies are well equipped to handle exposure to certain levels of toxins, microplastics present a brand new, never-before-seen problem. These itty-bitty plastic particles can actually weasel their way directly into our tissues and cells.
Microplastics Have Officially Been Detected in Human Blood
While we’ve been aware of the fact that microplastics have infiltrated our food chain (you can read all about it in my article Are You Eating Plastic? How Microplastics Might Be Hiding Out On Your Dinner Plate), these plastic fragments are now showing up in even more alarming places.
Recent studies have officially detected that microplastics are indeed present in human blood. That means these plastic particles are being absorbed into our bloodstream, circulated throughout our bodies, and delivered directly into our tissues and organs. And as microplastics accumulate and ingrain themselves into your body, their cocktail of toxic chemicals is continuously leached out directly into your cells.5
So if microplastics are circulating in our bloodstream and building up in our bodies, how on earth are we supposed to protect ourselves?
The good news is, that while these microscopic plastic particles certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon in our world and environment, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. The first step is minimizing your exposure.
How To Avoid Microplastics?
The truth is, you can’t completely avoid microplastics. Because microplastics are so small and because they are essentially circulated throughout our environment indefinitely, microplastics are present in just about everything. That includes in our food, water, air, soil, and of course in countless products we encounter on a daily basis.
While you may not be able to entirely dodge microplastics, you can take some steps to reduce your overall exposure to them by:
- Cutting down on plastic use: Opt for plastic-free products when you can – especially when it comes to anything you eat, drink, or cook with. There are a plethora of excellent plastic-free alternative materials out there such as glass, steel, paper, bamboo, wood, etc.
- Eating a fresh diet: When food is packaged and stored in plastic packaging, more fragments of plastic inevitably wind up in your food. Avoid processed and plastic-wrapped foods when you can.
- Being mindful of your seafood intake: Our oceans take the brunt of plastic pollution – with massive accumulations of plastics and other wastes accumulating in these vital waterways. Microplastics are ingested by marine life and make their way up the food chain until they eventually make their way onto your dinner plate. There’s certainly no need to avoid seafood altogether, but it’s important to be mindful of the fact that seafood is often contaminated with higher levels of microplastics.
- Filtering your water: Tap water can be chock-full of microplastics and other harmful contaminants. Investing in a high-quality water filtration system can go a long way in reducing your intake of these plastic particles.
- Filtering your air: Indoor air pollution is a growing problem. And microplastics are one of many pollutants that can be found floating around in indoor air. Having an air filtration system that is certified to trap and eliminate microplastics and other airborne toxins is a potent way to combat microplastic exposure.
While minimizing your overall exposure is a crucial step in addressing microplastics, it’s only half of the equation. It’s equally important to enhance your body’s ability to process out any accumulated microplastics and detox from the unavoidable exposures.
Minimizing Your Overall Toxic Burden:
We are inevitably exposed to a plethora of toxins on a daily basis. From EMFs to contaminated water and from indoor-air pollution to toxin-laden products in our homes – we are pummeled by toxins everywhere we turn. When your exposure exceeds your ability to process these toxins, your toxic burden becomes too high – essentially “plugging up” your detox pathways. Finding ways to reduce your overall toxic burden can help keep your detox pathways firing on all cylinders. That way you can appropriately filter out the microplastics and other toxins that are unavoidable.
How Do You Detox Your Body From Plastic?
Your body has its own built-in, all-natural detoxification pathways designed to eliminate any toxic compounds that make their way into your body. By supporting these natural pathways, you can help your body detox from the harmful toxins found in plastic. Some ways you can naturally support these detox pathways include:
Incorporating Detox-Boosting Supplements
Your body relies on numerous vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to neutralize and eliminate toxins. Giving your body a concentrated dose of specific detox-boosting supplements can give you a major edge in removing microplastics and other toxins from your body. Some of my favorite tried-and-true detox-enhancing supplements include:
- Probiotics to help inoculate your gut with beneficial bacteria
- Collagen to support a strong and healthy barrier between your gut and your bloodstream
- Glutathione and Vitamin C to increase your toxin-fighting antioxidants
- Detox binders to neutralize any free-floating toxins.
You can find all these and more through my online store. And you can even get 10% off your first order by clicking right here.
Integrating Alternative Detoxification Strategies
There are a few specific detoxification strategies that can amplify your ability to detox when used regularly. Some of the most effective detox-boosting strategies you can add to your routine include:
When used together, these detox-boosting techniques can skyrocket your ability to detox from microplastics.
So, How Worried Should I Be When It Comes to Microplastics?
Microplastics are certainly a growing concern when it comes to our environment and our health. But just how worrisome microplastics really are is still unclear. And while it can be disheartening to know that our world is becoming increasingly toxic, the good news is, this knowledge gives us power.
Understanding what we’re up against equips us with the insight to do something about it. Following the steps outlined in this article is a great place to start when it comes to combating the ever-increasing toxins in our environment. While these steps and lifestyle adjustments might seem small at first glance, they add up in a big way.
Creating a healthy, happy, and balanced life doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s why I’m dedicated to bringing you easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement, science-backed information. So you can create a sustainable and vibrantly healthy life that you love. If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to browse through my blog and sign up for my weekly newsletter so you can get access to my exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Now it’s time to hear from you. Were you surprised to learn that microplastics have been detected in human blood? Do you have any plastic-avoiding or detox-boosting tips to add to the list? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below!
- Microplastics in our Nation’s Waterways (usgs.gov)
- Toxicity of plastics – Blastic
- microplastics | Definition, Properties, & Plastic Pollution | Britannica
- Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health | SpringerLink
- Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood – ScienceDirect
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.