Tiny plastic particles in the environment

The images leave no one cold: giant vortices of floating plastic trash in the world’s oceans with sometimes devastating consequences for their inhabitants – the sobering legacy of our modern lifestyle. Weathering and degradation processes produce countless tiny particles that can now be detected in virtually all ecosystems. But how dangerous are the smallest of them, so-called nanoplastics? Are they a ticking time bomb, as alarming media reports suggest? In the latest issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team from Empa and ETH Zurich examines the state of current knowledge – or lack thereof – and points out how these important questions should be addressed.

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Drinking Water Significant Source of Microplastics in Human Diet

In an effort to understand the potential risks associated with exposure to micro/nanoplastics, the Emerging Risks of Micro/nanoplastics: Perspectives From Diverse Sectors symposia at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting, December 13-17, 2020, aims to highlight the current state of knowledge associated with physical and chemical transformation, hazard characterization, environmental effects, social implications and policy limitations.  

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