Microplastics found in human blood
5th Apr, 2022
Researchers from Netherlands had found Microplastic constituents in the human blood for the first time
What are microplastics?
- Tiny particles of plastic measuring less than 5mm in diameter is termed as microplastic.
- They are one of the major pollutants of land and ocean.
Impacts of microplastic
- On Oceans: Microplastics are source of pollution in oceans they accumulate by breaking into small constituent particles and settle down inside the ocean residing inside for many years without degrading.
- According to the IUCN, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year and make up about 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.
- As perUNEP, in the last four decades, concentrations of these particles appear to have increased significantly in the surface waters of the ocean.
- On marine organisms: Marine organisms such as fish, crabs, prawns consume these minute plastic particles and thus add them to the food chain and leads to bioaccumulation.
- On land: Microplastics are major pollutant of land as they leach in the water bodies such as rivers and lakes through soil.
- Agriculture and plant health is affected.
- On humans: Human health is a matter of concern as plastic is used by us in our day to day routine and unknowingly we are consuming it in the form of microplastics.
- Thus it add to human blood and even can accumulate in organs.
- A study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Naturerevealed that an average person consumed 5 grams of plastic.
Initiatives taken against microplastics
- Global initiatives: Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML): The GMPL was launched at the Earth Summit in 2012 in response to a request set out in the Manila Declaration.
- Under the Manila Declaration, 65 signatories reaffirmed their commitment to develop policies to reduce and control wastewater, marine litter and pollution from fertilizers.
- Elimination of single use plastic in India: the use of single use plastic has been banned by the prime minister in 2019.
- This has made awareness about the health hazards of thin plastic by us in daily life.
- Plastic waste management rules, 2016 state that every local body has to be responsible for setting up infrastructure for segregation, collection, processing, and disposal of plastic waste.