The annual intake of microplastics by some humans has been estimated to range from 39,000 to 52,000 particles, depending on age and sex, rising to 74,000 to 121,000 particles when inhalation is considered; Human exposure to marine microplastics is via ingestion and inhalation.
Molecular mechanisms through interactions with microplastic
particles could injure health as a result of oxidative stress,
inflammatory reactions and metabolic disorders (Landrigan et
al. 2020). Toxicological studies have reported that microplastics (5-20 µm in diameter) fed to rodents accumulate in the liver and kidney, causing inflammation and changes in metabolic profiles (Deng et al. 2017). Inhaled micro- and nanoplastic particles (1-20 nm in diameter) were reported to activate T-cells, leading to particles being transported to lymph nodes and creating a higher risk of cancers (Blank et al. 2013).
From collection: From Pollution to Solution: A Global Assessment of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution