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Microplastics found to alter shape of and de-cluster human lung cells

A growing body of research has started to illuminate the widespread impacts of plastic pollution, and the downstream effects of it on the environment and human health. A new study has delved into the kind of damage microplastics can cause to human lungs, with researchers observing changes to the shape of lung cells and a slowdown in their metabolism when exposed to these tiny plastic particles.

The research was carried out at Florida State University (FSU) and focuses on small fragments of plastic waste that have broken down in the environment. In the past few years, we’ve seen these microplastics turn up in Antarctic sea ice, near the summit of Mt Everest, in snowfall in the Arctic, and in human stool samples collected all around the world.

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