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Tiny Particles, Major Threat: Microplastics Linked to Increased Stroke and Heart Attack Risk

Plastic Waste and Microplastics in Human Hand

New research on microplastic pollution and human health has revealed some startling facts. According to the study, plastic pollution has been linked to the increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and premature death based on research results from individuals whose blood vessels were contaminated with microscopic plastics.

The research focused on examining fatty plaques removed from the blood vessels of patients in Naples. It was found that those whose plaques contained microplastics or nanoplastics were nearly five times more likely to suffer a stroke, heart attack, or death from any cause over the following 34 months compared to those whose plaques were free from plastic contamination.

Although the findings do not establish a causal relationship between plastic particles and cardiovascular issues, as stated by Dr. Raffaele Marfella, an author of the study, the data could dramatically impact cardiovascular health if confirmed. This is because human beings are largely defenceless against plastic pollution.

Furthermore, even if there were dramatic measures and actions to reduce plastic pollution, the effects of such cleanup on human health would not be apparent for years.

We are therefore proud at the EDIAQI project of our collaboration with the CUSP cluster, to standardise microplastic measurement in indoor environments, enhancing our understanding of microplastic presence and its health implications. This partnership aims to advance research on indoor pollution and its effects on public health, bridging current gaps in knowledge which is of clear paramount importance in light of such startling revelation. 

Ultimately further research is necessary to fully detail plastic pollution's casual relationship to strokes and heart attacks. In fact, Dr. Marfella called for increased awareness of the potential threat. He also expressed hope that their study would serve as an "alarm message" to "raise the consciousness of citizens, especially governments, about the importance of our planet's health".