Potential health impact of environmentally released micro- and nanoplastics in the human food production chain: experiences from nanotoxicology

High concentrations of plastic debris have been observed in the oceans. Much of the recent concern has focussed on microplastics in the marine environment. Recent studies of the size distribution of the plastic debris suggested that continued fragmenting of microplastics into nano-sized particles may occur. In this review we assess the current literature on the occurrence of environmentally released micro- and nanoplastics in the human food production chain and their potential health impact. The currently used analytical techniques introduce a great bias in the knowledge, since they are only able to detect plastic particles well above the nano-range. We discuss the potential use of the very sensitive analytical techniques that have been developed for the detection and quantification of engineered nanoparticles. (…)

Hans Bouwmeester, Peter C. H. Hollman, and Ruud J.B. Peters, Environ. Sci. Technol., Vol. 49 (15), pp 8932–8947, July 15, 2015

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