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Microplastics, a food safety issue?

The risk posed by microplastics for human and environment, has become a hot topic. The concern is focused not only on the effect of microplastics as such but also on additives and chemical contaminants absorbed by microplastics that may be released and affect negatively animals and environmental health. Despite several works have been written on this topic, a number of knowledge gaps still should be filled to enable a correct risk assessment of this important issue. For example, the relevance of microplastics for food safety has not yet been fully established and scientific results aimed at establishing a possible health risk for contaminants associated with microplastics are rather controversial. The risk assessment of microplastics in foodstuff is still at a very early stage and very few studies on the monitoring of microplastics in foodstuff and their effects on human health are available. Additionally, it is difficult to compare results from different studies as methodologies and study designs are not uniform. For this reason, it is not always possible to reach some definitive conclusion.This work sets out to complement the reviews and statements already existing, by updating the information and identifying if any of the knowledge gaps have been covered and if further ones have been detected with the final aim of properly assessing and managing this emerging risk.

» Author: Sandra Rainieri, Alejandro Barranco

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [310187].