Project Title

The State of the Art on the Potential Human Health Impacts of Microplastics and Nanoplastics

Project Partners


Lead PIs

Dr Sandra O’Neill, Dr Jenny Lawler, Pr Anthony Staines, Dr Imen Gdara

Funded By


Project Summary

There is a predicted global rise in plastic production from 322 to 1800 million tonnes by 2050 with the doubling of plastic waste in our oceans by 2025. Human exposure to these products via seafood, honey, beer, processed food, sugar, salt and the addition of microplastics to household products could potentially impact human health. This study will provide a comprehensive systematic review of the potential health impact of microplastics and nanoplastics. This review will examine routes of exposure, risk factors, methodology to measure exposure levels and current and novel biomarkers to measure human exposure. This review will examine the evidence in the literature on the best practice for in vitro model systems to examine potential health impacts (cancer, endocrine, immune) of microplastics and will make recommendations for protocols for future studies that could be utilised internationally in future studies and for safety testing of current and new products.The study will provide an effective communication strategy that will disseminate study fundings through platforms such as twitter, public lectures, E zines in order to influence policy, raise public awareness and change public behaviours.

Download a pdf of this project descriptor.