Ecological and Public Health Effects of Microplastics Pollution
|capítulo de libro
|Humans and ecosystems are constantly exposed to microplastics (MP). The magnitude of contamination, their ubiquity, and high persistence over time raise serious concerns about their effects on ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. MP represent a diverse class of contaminants occurring on a continuum of sizes and in various shapes and presenting a complex composition that includes several types of polymers and several associated pollutants. In short, MP are perhaps one of the most challenging contaminants created by humankind. The effects of exposure to these pollutants are of growing concern even though the type and level of exposure and the specific risks for humans and ecosystem health have not yet been entirely determined. In this chapter, we identify critical qualitative and quantitative aspects of MP sources and exposure routes and toxicity profiles and confront them with research on MP effects and estimations of risks to human and environmental health. Finally, we highlight that some novel sources of MP contamination pose a serious risk of exposure to humans and ecosystems, such as nanoplastics and the recycled plastics incorporated into road pavements and construction.
|Universidad de Costa Rica