Microplastic in Food and Drinking Water - Environmental Monitoring Data
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University of Zielona Góra, Poland
Online publication date: 2020-12-31
Publication date: 2020-12-01
Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports 2020;30(4):201-209
Microplastics are present in the environment and have been found in seas and oceans, fresh water, sewage, food, air, and drinking water, both bottled and tap water. Nanoplastics can originate from engineered material or can be produced during fragmentation of microplastic debris. This paper presents an analysis of the research available in the literature on the content of microplastics in food, tap water, and bottled water. There is no legislation for microplastics as contaminants in food. Available data are from seafood species such as fish, shrimp, and bivalves, and also in other foods such as honey, beer, and table salt. In tap water, the measured amount of microplastic particles varies extensively and depends on the place of intake, type of conditioning, and water distribution system. Studies concerning bottled water have shown that water contains microplastics from disposable plastic bottles, bottles made of recycled material, and even glass bottles. The lack of analytical standards related to the adoption of the method of determination and identification of the size and form of microplastic particles was found to be problematic. The abovementioned particles were mainly identified as polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), polyamides (PA), polyether sulfone (PES), polystyrene (PS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and were between 1 and 150 μm in size. The most common shapes of the particles were fragments, followed by fibres and flakes. Toxicity and toxicokinetic data are lacking for microplastics for a human risk assessment.
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