Microplastics Detected in Human Breastmilk | Polymers | Raman Microspectroscopy Detection and Characterisation of Microplastics in Human Breastmilk

AbstractThe widespread use of plastics determines the inevitable human exposure to its by-products, including microplastics (MPs), which enter the human organism mainly by ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. Once internalised, MPs may pass across cell membranes and translocate to different body sites, triggering specific cellular mechanisms. Hence, the potential health impairment caused by the internalisation and accumulation of MPs is of prime concern, as confirmed by numerous studies reporting evident toxic effects in various animal models, marine organisms, and human cell lines. In this pilot single-centre observational prospective study, human breastmilk samples collected from N. 34 women were analysed by Raman Microspectroscopy, and, for the first time, MP contamination was found in 26 out of 34 samples. The detected microparticles were classified according to their shape, colour, dimensions, and chemical composition. The most abundant MPs were composed of polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polypropylene, with sizes ranging from 2 to 12 µm. MP data were statistically analysed in relation to specific patients’ data (age, use of personal care products containing plastic compounds, and consumption of fish/shellfish, beverages, and food in plastic packaging), but no significant relationship was found, suggesting that the ubiquitous MP presence makes human exposure inevitable.Keywords: microplastics; human breastmilk; Raman microspectroscopy; infants’ nutrition

Source: Polymers | Free Full-Text | Raman Microspectroscopy Detection and Characterisation of Microplastics in Human Breastmilk | HTML

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