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Health risk assessment: Microplastics


Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous in the environment. MPs are found in air, water, food and its packaging, soil, and personal care products. Humans can be exposed to MPs through oral, dermal and inhalation routes of exposure. MPs are mainly composed of polymers and frequently also contain additives and plasticisers. The purpose of this report is to review the evidence for adverse human health effects from inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure to microplastics. It examines previous toxicity studies, including those considering potential in vitro effects. Overall, it found limited conclusive studies (toxicokinetic, toxicity, epidemiology, pharmacology) related to health effects of MPs. Further research is needed, including those that better reflect representatives levels of environmental exposure, and explore potential long-term chronic health effects.