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Microplastics are ubiquitous environmental contaminants leading to inevitable human exposure. Even so, little is known about the effects of microplastics in human health. Thus, in this work we review the evidence for potential negative effects of microplastics in the human body, focusing on pathways of exposure and toxicity. Exposure may occur by ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact due to the presence of microplastics in products, foodstuff and air. In all biological systems, microplastic exposure may cause particle toxicity, with oxidative stress, inflammatory lesions and increased uptake or translocation. The inability of the immune system to remove synthetic particles may lead to chronic inflammation and increase risk of neoplasia. Furthermore, microplastics may release their constituents, adsorbed contaminants and pathogenic organisms. Nonetheless, knowledge on microplastic toxicity is still limited and largely influenced by exposure concentration, particle properties, adsorbed contaminants, tissues involved and individual susceptibility, requiring further research.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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Component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. It conducts and supports basic and applied research to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by, defining how environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and age interact to affect an individual's health. It was established in 1969.
Exposure of the female parent, human or animal, to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals that may affect offspring. It includes pre-conception maternal exposure.
The exposure to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals.
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The presence of contaminants or pollutant substances in the air (AIR POLLUTANTS) that interfere with human health or welfare, or produce other harmful environmental effects. The substances may include GASES; PARTICULATE MATTER; or volatile ORGANIC CHEMICALS.
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