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Frustrated employee shares photo of concerning work environment in factory: 'I'd get out of there'

"I hope they provide PPE."

"I hope they provide PPE."

Photo Credit: iStock

Microplastics have become a constant presence in our lives, and a factory employee is showing the extent of laborers' exposure to these dangerous particles.

In a post on the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit, a user shared a photo of their arm covered in tiny microplastics that look as fine as sand. "My micro-plastic covered arm after being at work for 10 minutes," the user wrote in their caption.

Microplastics, "I hope they provide PPE."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The user explained their responsibilities in a follow-up comment. "I'm a process engineer at a blown film manufacturing company. A pretty title but all I do is make giant plastic bubbles and fix it when someone f---s it up. The micro plastics come from a machine that recycles the film back into resin pellets."

The user also said that face masks are not provided for workers' protection and that workers typically clean themselves with an air hose after they've been covered in microplastics.

"Okay but no joke- micro plastics can do serious harm to you, but the effects still aren't well understood. OP, I hope they provide PPE, otherwise I'd get out of there," one concerned user suggested.

Microplastics are, indeed, quite dangerous, both for humans and all other life forms. These particles are less than 5 millimeters long and can't be broken down by any natural organism.

Trillions of microplastic particles clutter our oceans, and because they're so small, they're nearly impossible to clean up. The long-term effects of these particles aren't fully understood in part because any effects aren't going to be immediate, but the unintentional proliferation of synthetic particles in our food and water supply certainly doesn't bode well. 

It's possible that microplastics are making us more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, fertility issues, and kidney disease, as various studies have explored.

To help combat the spread of microplastics, cutting down your use of single-use plastics by investing in reusable products is a must. Recycling can also help minimize how much microplastic we allow into our ecosystems.

Other Reddit users expressed their disgust at the poster's work environment.

"Please protect yourself. A lawsuit in a decade is not going to fix your failing lungs," one user said

"I hope this is how your mask looks and not your lungs," another user wrote.

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