Impact of microplastics on health · Health and Science

Where does this news come from?

Loose glitter is made of small pieces of plastic or microplastics and may not be sold as of October 15 (1). In addition, a whole range of cosmetics and care products must modify their composition and keep microplastics out. They have one year to do so. There will also be a ban on all products to which microplastics are intentionally added.

In 2022, plastic straws and cotton buds are also banned (2): you can no longer buy them.

Plastic in the environment sooner or later decomposes into smaller and smaller pieces. They are microplastics All pieces are smaller than half a centimeterbut most of them are so small that… It is no longer visible to the naked eye.

  • Because they do not decompose further, microplastics remain in the environment for centuries.
  • Therefore, it is inevitable that they will end up in our bodies.
  • These tiny plastic particles are found in food, bottled water, tap water, and in the air.
  • About the Its effects on health We don’t know much yet.
source

(1) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2023/10/12/verbod-op-microplastics-europese-commissie/

How should you interpret this news?

Plastic is a big problem in society. Just think about it Plastic soup That floats on the oceans. Between 5 and 13 million tons of plastic waste flow into the sea every year (3).

tries to Plastic pollution to the human body It is usually performed by examining stool samples. This indicates that it is undeniably increasing. Research on mice has already shown high concentrations of plastic fertility Low (4), but this is ethically difficult to investigate in humans. You can’t expose one group of people to high concentrations of microplastics and not expose a second group and then see what happens.

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Chinese researchers have found higher concentrations of microplastics in a group of people with chronic intestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (5), but the significance of this is unclear.

However, a lack of evidence does not mean that increased plastic pollution has no impact on health. Well it is More research is neededfor example in the form of Comparative population studies Population groups with high exposure to plastics are compared with population groups with low exposure.

Conclusion

Plastic pollution of the environment can no longer be controlled. Just think of the plastic soup floating in the oceans. Banning all types of plastic at once is impossible. This is possible step by step. In the first stage, unnecessary plastics are processed. After banning plastic straws and cotton buds in 2022, the European Commission will now also ban glitter, as well as plastics added to a number of cosmetics. Health effects are difficult to investigate directly, but that does not mean they do not exist. In animal research, researchers see a decrease in fertility.

References

Megan Vasquez

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