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Evidence on microplastics does not yet point to widespread risk

Gepubliceerd op
15 januari 2019

The best available evidence suggests that microplastics and nanoplastics do not pose a widespread risk to humans or the environment, except in small pockets. But that evidence is limited, and the situation could change if pollution continues at the current rate.

This was the conclusion of an Evidence Review Report published by an SAPEA working group of scientists.

Professor Bart Koelmans, chair of the group that wrote the report, said:

“The evidence about nano- and microplastics remains uncertain, and it is by its nature complex, but so far there is no good reason to think they pose widespread risks to humans or the environment."

“Of course, a lack of evidence for risk doesn’t mean we should assume that there is no risk. As our social science colleagues have pointed out, it’s vital that we communicate clearly about uncertainties in the evidence, rather than just assuming that everything is fine just because we don’t know for sure."

“But one thing is for certain: concentrations of microplastics in the environment are increasing. If we keep polluting at the current rate, we will have a real problem in the future.”

More information here.