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Level International
Plastic types Microplastics Nanoplastics
Funding source European Union SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Health, demographic change and well-being
Project Website
Project cost 5.991.073,00 EUR
Period April 2021 - March 2025
Geographical area Global
Categories Environment and Climate Change Food and Feed Safety
Tags Microplastic Nanoplastic pollution
Project partners
  • Stichting Vu - Netherlands,
  • Stichting Amsterdam UMC - Netherlands,
  • Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung) - Germany,
  • Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) - Germany,
  • Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin) - Germany,
  • Folkehelseinstituttet - Norway,
  • Institutul National De Cercetare-Dezvoltare Pentru Textile Si Pielarie - Romania,
  • Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht - Netherlands,
  • Agenzia Nazionale Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, L'energia E Lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile - Italy,
  • Ideaconsult Limited Liability Company - Bulgaria,
  • Health and Environment Alliance - Belgium,
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. - Germany,
  • European Research Services GmbH - Germany,
  • Umweltbundesamt (UBA) - Germany

From childhood to old age, we all come in contact with plastic products on a daily basis, in the living environment and food chain. Our plastic products are a source of plastic fragments, tiny particles generally invisible to the naked eye. How many of these plastic particles are actually being absorbed into our bodies via inhalation and ingestion? Could tiny micro- and nanoplastic particles (MNP) inside our bodies be having a negative impact on human health? The EU-funded POLYRISK project explores these questions by examining human exposure to MNP and their potential toxic effects. POLYRISK considers occupational and consumer exposure and puts a special emphasis on potential adverse effects of MNP on the immune system.

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Knowledge Gaps

Characteristics of plastic-general

Commercial-related uncertainties

Testing considerations-general

Occupational exposure

Environmental risk assessment (ERA)

Exposure assessment-general

Characterization test methods

Effects assessment-general

Bioaccumulation and biomagnification

Mode of action (MOA)

Human toxicity

Environmental fate and behavior of plastic

Environmental exposure

Human and environmental exposure test methods


Fate and behavior within an organism

Environmental effects and ecotoxicity

Chronic or long-term effects, multiple forms and/or sources