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WHO wants more studies on health hazards of microplastics

2019-08-22T13:07:53.788Z

Microplastics in drinking water do not yet pose a health risk based on current research. The World Health Organization (WHO) is reassuring on the subject in a report published Thursday, August 22, but wishes ...


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WHO highlights the lack of in-depth studies on the impact of plastic on the human body (illustrative image). Pxhere CC0

Microplastics in drinking water do not yet pose a risk to health based on current research. The World Health Organization (WHO) is reassuring on the subject in a report published Thursday, August 22, but wishes above all more research on this subject.

The agency presents a synthesis of the latest knowledge of microplastics, ie plastic particles with a size of less than 5 mm, in tap water and bottled water.

Is it dangerous to drink plastic ? The researchers mainly analyzed three aspects: the risk of ingesting these small plastic particles present in the water, the chemical risks or the risks related to the presence of bacteria. And according to the WHO report , all risks are low.

Data still limited

As regards ingestion, in principle relatively "large" microplastics, more than one-tenth of a millimeter, are not absorbed by the human body. Smaller particles, on the other hand, may be absorbed. But the scientific data on this subject are still very limited. And this also applies to other aspects of the study such as chemical risk and the presence of bacteria.

►Also read: The Tara mission goes on a hunt for microplastics on 10 rivers in Europe

The main lesson therefore seems to be the urgency of conducting more in-depth assessments ... and, in the meantime, slowing the production and rejection of plastics in order to preserve aquatic ecosystems. It is also better to treat wastewater, experts say. This would remove a large part of the microplastics.

But the vast majority of the world's population does not have a suitable system for effectively treating wastewater.

►To listen too: Mid-day guest - Water quality: " Investing in cleanup is extremely good for the economy "

Source: rfi

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