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Micro- and Nanoplastics and Public Health: EU research findings

June 25 , 12:00 pm 1:00 pm EDT

There is widespread concern about the ubiquity of micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs) in our environment. These tiny particles result from the degradation of  plastics, or are manufactured and added to products for a variety of purposes. They can find their way into the human body through the food, water or air. Yet, so far, we know little about human exposures and health effects.

Over the past three years, the European Commission has funded an informal network called the  Research Cluster to Understand the Health Impacts of Micro- and Nanoplastics (CUSP) dedicated to advancing our understanding of the health impacts associated with MNPs. Its latest policy brief, “Micro- and Nanoplastics and Public Health: A Reasonable Concern,” highlights key findings from CUSP’s research efforts and underscores the importance of addressing this emerging public health concern. CUSP is composed of five collaborating research projects: AURORA, ImpToxPLASTICHEAL, PlasticsFatE and POLYRISK.

The findings from these research projects can have far-reaching implications for European policies on chemicals, plastics, food, and water. Findings related to carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, respiratory toxicity, and fate and exposure assessment of MNPs can trigger the need for, and inform, regulatory decision-making.

This webinar will highlight the work of two projects from the cluster: AURORA and POLYRISK.

Dr. Hubert Dirven (POLYRISK) will present research on exposure to micro- and nanoplastics in real-life scenarios and potential adverse effects on the immune system, for example in indoor soccer fields with artificial turf with rubber granulate infill. He will discuss knowledge gaps related to exposure and human health effects.

Prof. Roel Vermeulen (AURORA) will present research conducted to better understand how MNPs can affect pregnancy and development in early life.

The webinar will be moderated by Génon Jensen (Health and Environment Alliance, HEAL).


To Stop Plastic Pollution