Scientists Show How Commonly Used Toxic Chemicals Enter Skin

Recent studies have shown that microplastics pose a health risk due to the hazardous compounds used to flame-proof plastics. 

This is the first study to show that chemicals added to microplastics may seep into perspiration and enter the circulation via the skin. Rugs, laptops, furniture foam padding, upholstery, wire insulation, and a plethora of other things all contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Some of the health problems associated with PBDE exposure include cancer, neurodevelopmental abnormalities in children, and alteration of thyroid hormones. 

Microplastics, which are pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm (0.2 in) in length, are present in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and even inside our own bodies.

The amount you sweat can play a part in how many toxins you absorb.

Using a 3D-printed skin model, the researchers investigated the absorption rate of these harmful compounds from microplastics and discovered that they may enter the circulation in as little as one day. These compounds are found in many common home goods, including baby changing tables, laptops, and smartphones. They can also potentially increase the risk of disrupting motor abilities and ovarian function. Cognitive functioning can also be disrupted.

Michigan, Maine,  Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, Maryland, Illinois, and New York are among the thirteen US states that have joined the European Union and the United Kingdom in banning some of the harmful chemicals.

Scientists are keeping their fingers crossed that governments will take action in response to the growing concern about these microplastics and the dangers of ingesting harmful chemicals from them. This is in response to the unexpected repercussions of the 1970s-era introduction of a class of chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

Persistent pests, microplastics remain in the ecosystem forever. 

Researchers discovered that skin absorption of PBDEs from microplastics reached 8% after 24 hours.