Particulate plastics and human health

Nanthi S. BOLAN, M.B. KIRKHAM, Shiv Shankar BOLAN, Daniel C.W. TSANG, Yiu Fai TSANG, Hailong WANG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Particulate plastics in the environment can leach toxic additives, or chemo-concentrate toxins already present in the environment, making them bioavailable again for direct or indirect human exposure. Particulate plastics have been measured in organisms at various trophic levels, leading to the accumulation of associated contaminants, eventual biomagnification. Routes of human exposure of particulate plastics include oral uptake through drinking water and diet containing particulate plastics, inhalation of micro and nanoplastics from the atmosphere, dermal uptake of nanoplastics and the associated chemicals derived from cosmetics. Particulate plastics impact human health at various stages of the life cycle of the plastics. These life cycle stages of particulate plastics include extraction of fossil fuel feedstocks to synthesize plastics, manufacture of plastic products, utilization of plastic products by consumers, management of plastic wastes. Extraction and transport of fossil fuel feedstocks, which include crude oil and natural gas used for plastic manufacture, lead to the release of toxic substances to the air, water, and soil. Copyright © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParticulate plastics in terrestrial and aquatic environments
EditorsNanthi S. BOLAN, M.B. KIRKHAM, Claudia HALSBAND, Dayanthi NUGEGODA, Yong Sik OK
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781003053071
ISBN (Print)9781138543928, 9780367511401
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


Bolan, N. S., Kirkham, M. B., Bolan, S. S., Tsang, D. C. W., Tsang, Y. F., & Wang, H. (2020). Particulate plastics and human health. In N. S. Bolan, M. B. Kirkham, C. Halsband, D. Nugegoda, & Y. S. Ok (Eds.), Particulate plastics in terrestrial and aquatic environments (pp. 285-294). Boca Raton: CRC Press.


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