A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society

Bart Koelmans, Sabine Phal, Thomas Backhaus, Filipa Bessa, Geert van Calster, Nadja Contzen, Richard Cronin, Tamara Galloway, Andy Hart, Lesley Henderson, Gabriela Kalčíková, Frank Kelly, Bartłomiej Kołodziejczyk, Elda Marku, Wouter Poortinga, Matthias Rillig, Erik Van Sebille, Linda Steg, Josef Steidl, Julia Steinhorst & 6 others Kristian Syberg, Richard Thompson, Martin Wagner, Annemarie van Wezel, Stephanie Wright, Kayleigh Wyles

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The report comprehensively examines the best available evidence from the natural sciences and computer modelling, as well as social, political and behavioural sciences. Its key conclusions are:

Microplastics — tiny particles under 5mm in length — are already present across air, soil and sediment, freshwaters, seas and oceans, plants and animals, and in several components of the human diet.
These particles come from a variety of sources, including plastic products, textiles, fisheries, agriculture, industry and general waste.
In controlled experiments, high concentrations of these particles have been shown to cause physical harm to the environment and living creatures, including inducing inflammation and stress.
However, the concentration levels measured in many real-world locations are well below this threshold — though there are also limitations in the measurement methods currently available.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the environment, there is no reliable evidence about the levels or effects of these particles. This is true especially of nanoplastics, which are very difficult to measure and evaluate.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSAPEA
Number of pages176
ISBN (Print)978-3-9820301-0-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesEvidence Review Report
Number4

Bibliographical note

Informs the forthcoming Scientific Opinionof the European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

Cite this

Koelmans, B., Phal, S., Backhaus, T., Bessa, F., van Calster, G., Contzen, N., ... Wyles, K. (2019). A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society. SAPEA. Evidence Review Report , No. 4 https://doi.org/10.26356/microplastics
Koelmans, Bart ; Phal, Sabine ; Backhaus, Thomas ; Bessa, Filipa ; van Calster, Geert ; Contzen, Nadja ; Cronin, Richard ; Galloway, Tamara ; Hart, Andy ; Henderson, Lesley ; Kalčíková, Gabriela ; Kelly, Frank ; Kołodziejczyk, Bartłomiej ; Marku, Elda ; Poortinga, Wouter ; Rillig, Matthias ; Van Sebille, Erik ; Steg, Linda ; Steidl, Josef ; Steinhorst, Julia ; Syberg, Kristian ; Thompson, Richard ; Wagner, Martin ; van Wezel, Annemarie ; Wright, Stephanie ; Wyles, Kayleigh . / A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society. SAPEA, 2019. 176 p. (Evidence Review Report ; No. 4).
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abstract = "The report comprehensively examines the best available evidence from the natural sciences and computer modelling, as well as social, political and behavioural sciences. Its key conclusions are:Microplastics — tiny particles under 5mm in length — are already present across air, soil and sediment, freshwaters, seas and oceans, plants and animals, and in several components of the human diet.These particles come from a variety of sources, including plastic products, textiles, fisheries, agriculture, industry and general waste.In controlled experiments, high concentrations of these particles have been shown to cause physical harm to the environment and living creatures, including inducing inflammation and stress.However, the concentration levels measured in many real-world locations are well below this threshold — though there are also limitations in the measurement methods currently available.Meanwhile, in other parts of the environment, there is no reliable evidence about the levels or effects of these particles. This is true especially of nanoplastics, which are very difficult to measure and evaluate.",
author = "Bart Koelmans and Sabine Phal and Thomas Backhaus and Filipa Bessa and {van Calster}, Geert and Nadja Contzen and Richard Cronin and Tamara Galloway and Andy Hart and Lesley Henderson and Gabriela Kalč{\'i}kov{\'a} and Frank Kelly and Bartłomiej Kołodziejczyk and Elda Marku and Wouter Poortinga and Matthias Rillig and {Van Sebille}, Erik and Linda Steg and Josef Steidl and Julia Steinhorst and Kristian Syberg and Richard Thompson and Martin Wagner and {van Wezel}, Annemarie and Stephanie Wright and Kayleigh Wyles",
note = "Informs the forthcoming Scientific Opinionof the European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors",
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Koelmans, B, Phal, S, Backhaus, T, Bessa, F, van Calster, G, Contzen, N, Cronin, R, Galloway, T, Hart, A, Henderson, L, Kalčíková, G, Kelly, F, Kołodziejczyk, B, Marku, E, Poortinga, W, Rillig, M, Van Sebille, E, Steg, L, Steidl, J, Steinhorst, J, Syberg, K, Thompson, R, Wagner, M, van Wezel, A, Wright, S & Wyles, K 2019, A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society. Evidence Review Report , no. 4, SAPEA. https://doi.org/10.26356/microplastics

A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society. / Koelmans, Bart; Phal, Sabine; Backhaus, Thomas ; Bessa, Filipa; van Calster, Geert; Contzen, Nadja; Cronin, Richard; Galloway, Tamara; Hart, Andy; Henderson, Lesley; Kalčíková, Gabriela ; Kelly, Frank ; Kołodziejczyk, Bartłomiej ; Marku, Elda; Poortinga, Wouter ; Rillig, Matthias ; Van Sebille, Erik ; Steg, Linda ; Steidl, Josef ; Steinhorst, Julia ; Syberg, Kristian; Thompson, Richard ; Wagner, Martin ; van Wezel, Annemarie ; Wright, Stephanie ; Wyles, Kayleigh .

SAPEA, 2019. 176 p.

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearchpeer-review

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AU - Cronin, Richard

AU - Galloway, Tamara

AU - Hart, Andy

AU - Henderson, Lesley

AU - Kalčíková, Gabriela

AU - Kelly, Frank

AU - Kołodziejczyk, Bartłomiej

AU - Marku, Elda

AU - Poortinga, Wouter

AU - Rillig, Matthias

AU - Van Sebille, Erik

AU - Steg, Linda

AU - Steidl, Josef

AU - Steinhorst, Julia

AU - Syberg, Kristian

AU - Thompson, Richard

AU - Wagner, Martin

AU - van Wezel, Annemarie

AU - Wright, Stephanie

AU - Wyles, Kayleigh

N1 - Informs the forthcoming Scientific Opinionof the European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors

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N2 - The report comprehensively examines the best available evidence from the natural sciences and computer modelling, as well as social, political and behavioural sciences. Its key conclusions are:Microplastics — tiny particles under 5mm in length — are already present across air, soil and sediment, freshwaters, seas and oceans, plants and animals, and in several components of the human diet.These particles come from a variety of sources, including plastic products, textiles, fisheries, agriculture, industry and general waste.In controlled experiments, high concentrations of these particles have been shown to cause physical harm to the environment and living creatures, including inducing inflammation and stress.However, the concentration levels measured in many real-world locations are well below this threshold — though there are also limitations in the measurement methods currently available.Meanwhile, in other parts of the environment, there is no reliable evidence about the levels or effects of these particles. This is true especially of nanoplastics, which are very difficult to measure and evaluate.

AB - The report comprehensively examines the best available evidence from the natural sciences and computer modelling, as well as social, political and behavioural sciences. Its key conclusions are:Microplastics — tiny particles under 5mm in length — are already present across air, soil and sediment, freshwaters, seas and oceans, plants and animals, and in several components of the human diet.These particles come from a variety of sources, including plastic products, textiles, fisheries, agriculture, industry and general waste.In controlled experiments, high concentrations of these particles have been shown to cause physical harm to the environment and living creatures, including inducing inflammation and stress.However, the concentration levels measured in many real-world locations are well below this threshold — though there are also limitations in the measurement methods currently available.Meanwhile, in other parts of the environment, there is no reliable evidence about the levels or effects of these particles. This is true especially of nanoplastics, which are very difficult to measure and evaluate.

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BT - A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society

PB - SAPEA

ER -

Koelmans B, Phal S, Backhaus T, Bessa F, van Calster G, Contzen N et al. A scientific perspective on microplastics in nature and society. SAPEA, 2019. 176 p. (Evidence Review Report ; No. 4). https://doi.org/10.26356/microplastics