Microplastics are plastic particles with a diameter of fewer than five millimeters.
They come from a variety of household items and everyday necessities, such as the clothes we wear, household items, and food and beverage packaging.
Microplastics are insoluble in water.
“Microplastics”, derived from petrochemicals obtained from oil and gas products, cause dust around the house.
Some of these particles are toxic to humans – they may carry carcinogenic or mutagenic chemicals, which means they can cause cancer and/or damage our DNA.
Additives are chemicals that are to be added in the manufacture of plastics to ensure the properties of plastics, such as color and transparency, and to improve the properties of plastic products to improve resistance to ozone damage, temperature, light radiation, mold, bacteria and humidity, and mechanical, thermal and electrical resistance.
These include inert or reinforcing fillers, plasticizers, antioxidants, UV stabilizers, lubricants, dyes, and flame retardants.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are present in microplastics as additives.
EDC alters the homeostasis of the endocrine system.
New science associates EDC with several diseases and conditions, such as hormonal cancers (breast, prostate, and testes), reproductive problems (genital malformations, infertility), metabolic diseases (diabetes, obesity), asthma, and neurodevelopmental conditions (learning disabilities), autism spectrum disorders).
Bisphenol A (BPA) is another supplement in microplastics.
In the EU, BPA is considered a “substance of serious concern” because of its estrogenic nature, which causes hormonal disorders in the human body.
Numerous studies have confirmed that BPA is associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, reproductive diseases, and breast cancer.
Heavy metals such as antimony, aluminum, tin, barium, or microplastic additives act as estrogemetalsal, which can cause breast cancer.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury are classified as “known” or “probable” human carcinogens based on evidence.
Epidemiological and experimental studies show a correlation between exposure to elements and the incidence of cancer in humans and animals.
Polystyrene particles present in 50 nm microplastics carry genotoxic and cytotoxic effects on lung epithelial cells and macrophages.
Microplastics can contain various contaminants, such as trace metals and some potentially harmful organic chemicals.
These chemicals can one day escape from the plastic surface into the body and increase its potential for toxic effects.
Microplastics can have carcinogenic properties, whimeansean that can cause cancer.
It can also be mutagenic, which means it can damage DNA.
Although some microplastics measured in our study are composed of potentially carcinogenic and/or mutagenic compounds, the real risk to human health is not clear.
Given the prevalence of microplastics not only in households but also in food and beverages, it is an important next step in this area of research to determine what, if available, safe exposure levels are.