A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society
Micro- and nanoplastics do not currently pose a widespread risk to humans and the environment, but the situation could change if pollution continues. This is the verdict of a report of leading scientific experts in an interdisciplinary project of European academies.
The scientists investigated what is, what is partially and what is not known about micro- and nanoplastics, i.e. tiny particles under 5mm in length, in both nature and society. Their report suggests that microplastics in the environment and in several components of the human diet do not cause harm, given the concentration levels. Meanwhile, the evidence is less certain with regard to the effects of nanoplastics, which are very difficult to measure.
The report provides scientific evidence to inform policy-making of the European Commission, and will most likely also receive attention at a meeting of chief science advisors with government officials from the G-7 states in Canada. A session will also be dedicated to the topic at the General Assembly of the All European Academies (ALLEA), hosted by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences in Bern on 9 May.
The report was drafted as part of the project SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies), to which the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences contribute. SAPEA brings together knowledge and expertise from over 100 academies, young academies and learned societies in more than 40 countries across Europe. SAPEA is part of the Scientific Advice Mechanism, which provides independent, interdisciplinary and evidence-based scientific advice on policy issues to the European Commission.
Edition / Volume: Evidence Review Report, 4
Standard identifier: 10.26356/microplastics