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Project Code [2018-HW-DS-9]

The table below provides an overview of the project with code 2018-HW-DS-9. This information is correct as of today and is updated from time to time by the EPA to reflected changes in the management of the project. Please check back regularly for updates.

Project Attribute Project Details
Project Title The State of the Art on the Potential Human Health Impacts of Microplastics and Nanoplastics
EPA Project Code 2018-HW-DS-9
Lead Organisation Dublin City University (DCU)
Coordinator Sandra O'Neill
EPA Research 2014 - 2020 Theme(s) Sustainability: Theme 2: Health & Wellbeing
EPA Research Pillars
Project Start and End Dates Start: 01/02/2019
End (if applicable): 01/11/2019
Revised End Date (if applicable):
EPA Project Type Desk Study
EPA Award Type STRIVE - Project Based Awards
Current Project Status Grant Awarded
Total Funding Amount 57047.85
Project Abstract/Description There is a predicted global rise in plastic production from 322 to 1800 million tonnes by 2050 with the doubling of plastic waste in our oceans by 2025. Human exposure to these products via seafood, honey, beer, processed food, sugar, salt and the addition of microplastics to household products could potentially impact human health. The research team consists of an engineer, epidemiologist and immunologist that will work with the post-doctoral scientist to generate a search protocol based on PRISM systematic review principles to ensure a comprehensive review of potential health impacts of microplastics and nanoplastics. This study will enhance our understanding of environment-health interactions and will make recommendations on levels of exposure, risk factors and waste management strategies. Statistical analysis will be performed on data from human studies to predict links between microplastics and cancer, endocrine, inflammatory disorders and gut microbiota. Recommendations for internationally harmonised protocols for future studies will be made. Key research priorities will be identified to secure future funding from Exchequer and non-Exchequer sources. Three manuscripts will be published in peer reviewed journals and an effective communication strategy implemented to disseminate study findings that will help influence policy, raise public awareness and change public behaviours. This study will provide a comprehensive systematic review of the potential health impacts of microplastics and nanoplastics as evidenced in animal and human studies. This review will examine routes of exposure, risk factors, methodology to measure exposure levels and current and novel biomarkers to measure human exposure. Statistical analysis will be performed on data from human studies to predict increase risk of cancer, endocrine and immune mediated disorders. We will identify experimental design protocols for animal and human studies that reflect best practice. A review of in vitro studies to identify appropriate in vitro models for fast throughput screening will be performed. We will identify key research priorities in order to secure future funding. Three manuscripts will be published in peer reviewed journals and a report with recommendations on how best to 1. assess levels of exposure, 2. risk factors, 3. management strategies to reduce plastic waste and 4. future research priorities to enhance our understanding of environmental-health interactions will be made. The study will provide an effective communication strategy that will disseminate study findings through platforms such as twitter, public lectures, E-zines in order to influence policy, raise public awareness and change public behaviours.
EPA Scientific Officer AnneMason
Linkage to SAFER Currently no project resources for this project on SAFER


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