A Snapshot into the Invasion of Plastics in Human Urine

25 July 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Micro- and nanoplastic particles and fibers are ubiquitous in the environment and have been detected in various human organs and systems, including the kidney, blood, lower respiratory tract, and stool. This study aimed to identify and quantify synthetic microplastics in human urine using optical microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy. The analysis of nine urine samples revealed the presence of 43% synthetic plastic fragments and 57% microfibers, with mean concentrations of 1.59±1.80 and 2.04±3.38 particles per 100 ml, respectively (P=0.045, F=4.5). The sizes of the fragments ranged from 0.01 nm to 0.34 nm, while the lengths of the fibers ranged from 10 to 871 µm, with various shapes and colors identified. FTIR analysis showed 100% polypropylene, while micro-Raman analysis detected 33.3% polypropylene and 33.3% polyamide. The detection of microplastics in urine is a growing concern that requires further research to understand their potential health effects, sources, and pathways in the environment. The findings of this study provide valuable information for developing strategies to reduce exposure and mitigate the risks posed by microplastics to human health and the environment.


micro-Raman spectroscopy
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Materials for Plastic in Urine Manuscript
Additional figures and information.


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