A disturbing study: the discovery of toxic plastic particles in the human placenta A disturbing study: the discovery of toxic plastic particles in the human placenta

A disturbing study: the discovery of toxic plastic particles in the human placenta

A disturbing study: the discovery of toxic plastic particles in the human placenta

A disturbing new study has discovered that 100% of researched human placentas contain potentially toxic microplastics.
Researchers from the University of New Mexico analyzed the placentas of 62 women, finding that each one contained small pieces of plastic less than 5 millimeters long.

Particle sizes ranged from 6.5 to 790 micrograms, with an average concentration of 128.6 micrograms per gram of donor placenta.

The most common plastic materials in the samples come from plastic bags and bottles, which constituted 54%, as well as from building materials and nylon.

Microplastics are linked to cancer, fertility problems and dementia, with public health experts fearing they could lead to babies being born at a relatively low birth weight.

“If we see effects on the placenta, the entire life of mammals on this planet could be affected,” said Matthew Campin, the study’s senior author. “This problem will get worse over time because all the plastics in our environment break down and become microplastics.”

Plastic waste releases small particles into groundwater and sometimes into the atmosphere, where they find their way into our food, water and bodies.

In the study, Campin and his team devised a new method (called Py-GC-MS) to extract small molecules from tissue taken from each placenta, which involves heating the samples until they burn.

Different chemicals ignite at different temperatures and, in the process, release a chemical signature that the Campin team observed.

Most previous research has been limited by the ability of microscopes to see the smallest parts of microplastics, Campin said. He explained that one micrometer is the smallest piece of microplastic that a conventional optical microscope can show.

But using Py-GC-MS, the research team was able to see all the fragments in the nanometer range.

Campin explained that it is too early to know the long-term consequences of exposure to microplastics on the mother and baby. So trying to avoid microplastics by avoiding fat during pregnancy may have worse consequences, because fat is an important vital source of nutrition and brain development. 

The study was published in the Journal of Toxicology.


Scientists call for changing the "sexual" names of dinosaurs

German paleontologists have called for a change in the system used to name dinosaurs, saying the current nomenclature containing about 100 names may be "unethical," Nature reported.
The research team analyzed the names of every dinosaur fossil from the “Mesozoic” era, which was defined between 251.9 million and 66 million years ago, while studying 1,500 species in search of names that they considered “stemming from racism or sexism, or named after (neo)colonial contexts, or provocative characters.” Controversial.

They found 89 “problematic” types, representing less than 3% of the nouns analyzed.

 The scientists explained that the names of dinosaur species may be considered a problem because they depend on the colonial name of the region to which they belong, expressing their regret that "the names of places or researchers in the original language are not often used or are translated incorrectly."

“We are not saying that we need to change everything tomorrow,” said paleontologist Evangelos Vlachos, who co-authored the paper from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio. “But we need to review what we did, find out what we did and did not do well, and try to correct it.” In the future". He called on the field of paleontology to change the way new discoveries are named.

The authors of the research called for getting rid of nicknames (naming species after humans), which have become increasingly common in the past two decades.

They also complained that 87% of “gender-related noun endings” were masculine. They said paleontologists should choose names that describe the creature, such as Triceratops, whose name is based on Greek words meaning "three-horned face."

However, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which has set loose guidelines for naming species, opposes banning names, according to committee chair Thomas Pape, of the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

Last year, the American Ornithological Society announced a radical overhaul of its nomenclature system, promising to drop all English names for bird species currently named after specific individuals, as well as any other bird names that could be considered offensive.

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