Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Assessment and mitigation of human’s exposure to nano/microplastics (NMPs) from bio-degradable plastics
Keywords: Nano/microplastics, human health, risk assessment, bio-degradable plastic.
The emergence of plastic has changed our way of life, from daily necessities to cosmetics, from clothing to packaging, plastic products appear in every aspect of human life. Because of its extensive use, plastic products not only provide convenience for people's life, but also produce harm to the environment. Globally, nano/microplastics (NMPs) have become a significant environmental health issue due to their potential risk to human health. Thus, some bio-degradable plastics have been developed to replace part of traditional plastic products, such as coffee cups, straws and food packages. However, due to the biodegradable properties of the new type of plastic, they are more likely to break down into micro/nano plastics.
The study aims to establish a systematic methodology to collect, pre-treatment, extract and analyse the quantity and size of NMPs in the water sample from the daily-used plastic products. The microplastics release of bio-degradable plastics with traditional plastic products will be compared and some methods to reduce the release of microplastics from plastic products will be developed. Furthermore, solutions will be developed to mitigate the human’s exposure to microplastics and to promote the awareness of microplastics issues.
The study is supported by SFI.