Detection of microplastics in the human penis

In a small study, four out of five men being treated for erectile dysfunction were found to have microplastics in their penis tissue. Of seven different plastics detected, the most common types of plastics included polyethylene terepthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP). Experts say the presence of microplastics in the penis and body may potentially be linked to erectile dysfunction in men, and that more research is needed.

Abstract: The proliferation of microplastics (MPs) represents a burgeoning environmental and health crisis. Measuring less than 5 mm in diameter, MPs have infiltrated atmospheric, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, penetrating commonplace consumables like seafood, sea salt, and bottled beverages. Their size and surface area render them susceptible to chemical interactions with physiological fluids and tissues, raising bioaccumulation and toxicity concerns. Human exposure to MPs occurs through ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. To date, there is no direct evidence identifying MPs in penile tissue. The objective of this study was to assess for potential aggregation of MPs in penile tissue. Tissue samples were extracted from six individuals who underwent surgery for a multi-component inflatable penile prosthesis (IPP). Samples were obtained from the corpora using Adson forceps before corporotomy dilation and device implantation and placed into cleaned glassware. A control sample was collected and stored in a McKesson specimen plastic container. The tissue fractions were analyzed using the Agilent 8700 Laser Direct Infrared (LDIR) Chemical Imaging System (Agilent Technologies. Moreover, the morphology of the particles was investigated by a Zeiss Merlin Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), complementing the detection range of LDIR to below 20 µm. MPs via LDIR were identified in 80% of the samples, ranging in size from 20–500 µm. Smaller particles down to 2 µm were detected via SEM. Seven types of MPs were found in the penile tissue, with polyethylene terephthalate (47.8%) and polypropylene (34.7%) being the most prevalent. The detection of MPs in penile tissue raises inquiries on the ramifications of environmental pollutants on sexual health. Our research adds a key dimension to the discussion on man-made pollutants, focusing on MPs in the male reproductive system.

Research published in the journal Scientific Reports discusses the ways microplastics enter riverine systems. The study focuses on the rural Raquette River, in New York, and evaluates distinct locations where microplastic may enter the river. The highest microplastic concentrations were found mostly downstream of a wastewater treatment plant, upstream of the hydro-dam, and in the river confluence.

Abstract: Rivers are the natural drainage system, transporting anthropogenic wastes and pollution, including microplastics (plastic < 5 mm). In a riverine system, microplastics can enter from different sources, and have spatial variance in concentration, physical and chemical properties, and imposed risk to the ecosystem. This pilot study presents an examination of microplastics in water and sediment samples using a single sample collection from the rural Raquette River, NY to evaluate a hypothesis that distinct locations of the river, such as downstream of a wastewater treatment plant, upstream of a hydro-dam, and river confluence, may be locations of higher microplastics concentration. In general, our results revealed the presence of high microplastic concentrations downstream of the wastewater treatment plant (in sediments), upstream of the hydro dam (both water and sediment), and in the river confluence (water sample), compared to other study sites. Moreover, the risk assessment indicates that even in a rural river with most of its drainage basin comprising forested and agricultural land, water, and sediment samples at all three locations are polluted with microplastics (pollution load index, PLI > 1; PLIzone = 1.87 and 1.68 for water and sediment samples respectively), with risk categories between Levels I and IV (“minor” to “danger”). Overall, the river stands in a “considerable” risk category (PRIzone = 134 and 113 for water and sediment samples respectively). The overall objective of this pilot study was to evaluate our hypothesis and advance our understanding of microplastic dynamics in rural river systems, elucidating their introduction from a point source (wastewater treatment plant), transit through an impediment (hydro-dam), and release into a vital transboundary river (confluence of Raquette-St. Lawrence Rivers).

In a scientific statement, the American Heart Association lays out its concerns about the adverse health consequences caused by exposures to environmental toxicants and pollutants, and cardiovascular diseases in young people. The article provides evidence that connects climate change and congenital heart disease, airborne pollution and Kawasaki disease, blood lead and blood pressure, endocrine-disrupting chemicals and cardiometabolic risk factors, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and other sources of pollution to adverse childhood health effects, especially relating to heart health.

Scientists find that interlocking and dismantling popular plastic toy building bricks generate microplastics and nanoplastics. These plastic fragments may pose a health risk to children who play with the bricks.

Abstract: Microplastics and nanoplastics have become noteworthy contaminants, affecting not only outdoor ecosystems but also making a notable impact within indoor environments. The release of microplastics and nanoplastics from commonly used plastic items remains a concern, and the characterisation of these contaminants is still challenging. This study focused on evaluating the microplastics and nanoplastics produced from plastic building bricks. Using Raman spectroscopy and correlation analysis, the plastic material used to manufacture building blocks was determined to be either acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (correlation value of 0.77) or polycarbonate (correlation value of 0.96). A principal component analysis (PCA) algorithm was optimised for improved detection of the debris particles released. Some challenges in microplastic analysis, such as the interference from the colourants in the building block materials, was explored and discussed. Combining Raman results with scanning electron microscopy – energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, we found the scratches on the building blocks to be a significant source of contamination, estimated several thousand microplastics and several hundred thousand nanoplastics were generated per mm2 following simulated play activities. The potential exposure to microplastics and nanoplastics during play poses risks associated with the ingestion and inhalation of these minute plastic particles.

A site known as shifts the balance of power from chemical producers to journalist, community members, and advocates that can hold them accountable.

This tool, a project of DataKind, Until Justice Data Partners, Material Research L3C, and Public Health Watch, represents a major advance in data accessibility: It makes multiple federal databases available in one place, allowing users to avoid government websites that can be difficult to navigate and interpret.

Find out which companies in your neighborhood are polluting and what harmful chemicals they are releasing into the environment. provides facility-level information about environmental violations and toxic-chemical and greenhouse-gas pollution from tens of thousands of facilities that report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Global production of plastic has resulted in the massive release of nano- and micro-plastics. Microplastics have found their way into humans, and scientists are developing a new methods to detect them. In one study, scientists found microplastics present in all 62 placentas tested from people who had recently given birth. They found various types of plastics, including polyethylene, PVC, and nylon.

The team’s methodology included saponification and ultracentrifugation to extract solid material from human placental tissue samples. They used highly specific and quantitative analysis of plastic with pyrolysis-gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy (Py-GC-MS). Placenta tissues were analyzed with fluorescence microscopy and automated particle count, which showed presence of micro-sized particles but not nano sized particles. Compared to other methodologies and tools, PY-GC-MS detected microplastics in all placenta samples.

The data that Py-GC-MS shows advancements in unbiased quantitative resolution and its application to detect microplastics in human placenta tissue samples. This method, with clinical data, could be essential to understanding the potential impacts of microplastics on pregnancy outcomes.