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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versão On-line ISSN 2173-9110versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727


BOLLAIN PASTOR, Clara  e  VICENTE AGULLO, David. Presence of microplastics in water and the potential impact on public health. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201908064.  Epub 07-Set-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.

The use of plastics has increased exponentially over recent years. Difficulties in their recycling and their low degradability result in their accumulation in the environment. Despite their great stability, they are subject to physical and chemical erosion resulting in smaller fragments. Although there is no standard definition of microplastics, the maximum limit of 5 mm has been accepted as a criterion.

Plastics, in addition to the consequences on the environment, have a direct effect on living beings, either by ingestion or toxicity. They may also act as a vehicle for invasive species and adsorb other contaminants on their surface such as PCBs, PAHs or DDT. This, increases the toxic effect of their own components such as plasticizers, additives, heavy metals, etc.

There is disparity in the published results regarding the presence of microplastics in both water supplies and drinking water and bottled water. There are no standard analytical methods, nor a consensus in the definition and description of microplastics that allow an appropriate comparison of results.

In the absence of scientific evidence, it is necessary to study in depth the presence of microplastics in water and the potential effects on health, in order to be able to consider microplastics as a monitoring parameter in drinking water.

Palavras-chave : Microplastics; Plastics; Pollutants; Environmental Impact; Environment and Public Health; Drinking water; Water analysis.

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