An EU-funded project will use studies in animals, alongside other methods, to investigate the possible effects of tiny plastic particles on health.
PLASTICHEAL aims to provide new methods and evidence for risk assessing micro- and nanoplastics (MNPLs) – plastic particles under five millimetres in size that arise from plastic waste and pollution.
MNPLs are becoming more prevalent in the environment, but the possible hazard and risk to humans, animals and the environment is still not well understood.
The project involves an international group of researchers – including EARA members Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands, and the University of Manchester, UK.
As part of PLASTICHEAL, researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, have recently created tiny plastic particles that mimic those found in the environment, to provide a ‘true-to-life’ version that can be investigated in animals and cells.