Microplastic in the environment. The role of education in raising social awareness of the handling of plastic waste
Listopad 05, 2021
Styczeń 23, 2022
Chmielewski J., Łuszczki J.J., Żeber-Dzikowska I., Dziechciaż M., Czarny-Działak M., Gworek B., Wojciechowska M.
Microplastics (MPs) are particles and fragments of plastic materials of the size < 5 mm. The most popular ones include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), polyurethane (PUR), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The article presents issues related to the pollution of the environment by MPs as a byproduct of plastic decay, and the resulting health hazards. Aim of the study: Showcasing the negative effects of environmental exposure to MPs on the human health and the necessity of taking action to raise social awareness as far as the handling of plastic waste is concerned. Method: Bibliometry was used in the study as a means of evaluating the area of research related to environmental exposure to MPs. A literature review was carried out by browsing through the PubMed database, including articles written in English, using the advanced search option, on the basis of key words or their combinations and a set time frame. Some of the articles included in the review were found in the Google Scholar browser, also through the use of key words. Results: In the scope of the analysed database, there has been an increase in the interest in the topic of MPs, especially environmental exposure, which dominates the areas of interest of scientists. MPs may be a threat to human health, and consequently a cause of many illnesses, including chronic conditions of the respiratory system, depression, liver damage, obesity, and cancers. Conclusions: Environmental exposure to MPs may be the cause of chronic conditions of the respiratory system, as well as other organs. Both now and in the future, the subject of MPs is bound to remain an important global issue, not only because of the pollution of the environment with plastic waste, but also the impact of this pollutant on the health of animals and people.
Chmielewski J., Łuszczki J.J., Żeber-Dzikowska I., Dziechciaż M., Czarny-Działak M., Gworek B., Wojciechowska M. 2022. Microplastic in the environment. The role of education in raising social awareness of the handling of plastic waste. J. Elem., 27(1): 31 - 45. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2021.26.4.2215
plastics, microplastics (MPs), environmental exposure, pollution, toxicology, biodegradation, health, education