Research

WHO says microplastic is not harmful to health

On the pages of our portal we have not oncetold you about the problems associated with environmental pollution from plastic waste. But environmentalists have recently also stated that so-called microplastics (the smallest particles of plastic that are almost invisible to the eye) dissolved in water are much more dangerous. However, most recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that microplastic does not harm human health. But not everything is so simple.

It looks like microplastic. And these are its rather “large” particles

Why microplastic is not dangerous

Plastic manufacturing in recent decadesgrew at a tremendous pace and, according to some forecasts, by 2025, plastic production will increase by 2 times compared to current indicators. Accordingly, the amount of plastic waste is growing. Moreover, some studies show that even bottled drinking water contains the smallest polymer elements used in bottle making.

This has raised serious concerns that peoplecan consume these particles, which will subsequently accumulate in the body and poison it. This was confirmed by data obtained in the study, for example, of marine plankton and other aquatic inhabitants, in which a sufficiently large number of tiny particles of plastic were found.

See also: Plastic began to "mask" under the stones. How is this dangerous?

However, according to a WHO report, this data cannot beextrapolate per person. A WHO report says that microplastics in water supply and bottled water carry less risk than bacteria and viruses. WHO experts say that larger microplastics (those that are more than 150 micrometers in diameter, which is equivalent to the diameter of the hair) are the least dangerous because they pass through the human body without stopping anywhere. Smaller particles can potentially get stuck in the walls of the digestive tract, but these particles, firstly, are the least common, and secondly, researchers believe that they are unlikely to accumulate in huge quantities. Do you agree with the opinion of scientists? Speak out in our Telegram chat.

Plastic pollution of the oceans is a very serious problem.

Why do we still need to worry about microplastics

The fact is that, despite the conclusion of WHO, they themselvesthe organization’s experts say that the problem of microplastics is “insufficiently studied” and requires further observation. In addition, it is currently unknown what effect plastic nanoparticles have on the body (and there are also such). Plastic nanoparticles, according to some reports, can penetrate the bloodstream and this can already be much more dangerous. In addition, nothing is known about how microplastics affect the body after heat treatment. For example, are the toxic properties of microplastic manifested after the water with microplastic is boiled.

In this case, the harmful effect of microplastics onthe environment should not be underestimated. Despite the fact that there is no evidence that microplastics adversely affects “large” living organisms, the smaller inhabitants of our planet like the already mentioned plankton and fish feel the influence of microplastics quite strongly. A decrease in the population of small inhabitants of the seas can affect the entire food chain and ultimately lead to environmental disaster. So, even if microplastic does not affect you and me, this does not mean that it is harmless to other inhabitants of our planet.