An emerging class of air pollutants: Potential effects of microplastics to respiratory human health?

Catégorie : Impacts de la Pollution
Date :4 décembre 2020
Amato-Lourenco, Luis Fernando; Galvao, Luciana dos Santos; Weger, Letty A. de; Hiemstra, Pieter S.; Vijver, Martina G.; Mauad, Thais.
Science of The Total Environment : 749
It is increasingly recognized that the ubiquity of convenient single-use plastic has resulted in a global plastic pollution challenge, with substantial environmental and health consequences. Physical, chemical, and biological processes result in plastic weathering, with eventual formation of debris in the micro to nano size range. There is an increasing awareness that plastic fragments are dispersed in the air and can be inhaled by humans, which may cause adverse effects on the respiratory system and on other systems. Urban environments are often characterized by high concentrations of fine airborne dust from various sources. To date, however, there is limited information on the distribution, shape, and size of microplastics in the air in urban and other environments. In this article, we review and discuss our current understanding of the exposure characteristics of airborne plastic debris in urbanized areas, focusing on concentration, size, morphology, presence of additives and distributions of different polymers. The natural and extend data are compiled and compared to laboratory-based analyses to further our understanding of the potential adverse effects of inhaled plastic particles on human health.