Microplastics: An Emerging Pollutant
Ajay Kumar Harit
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science,
Kalinga University, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India-492101
Microplastics is Ubiquitous in nature and fund in all matrix of environment, due to that is considered an emerging pollutant. The plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in size is known as Microplastic. The origin of microplastics either intentionally manufactured at that size (called primary microplastics) or result from the degradation of larger plastic debris (called secondary microplastics).
The various studies reported the persistent of microplastic in various environments like Oceans, rivers, lakes, soil, and air. Indeed, it also found in human consumables food items (Water, salt, honey, beer, fruits, fishes, bivalves and so on). They pose significant role in environmental and human health risks due to their durability, distribution, and have the potential to accumulate in living organisms including human being.
There are various sources of entering of microplastics in environment through plastic debris, breakdown of larger plastic items, synthetic fibres from textiles, and microbeads in personal care product, etc, Microplastic also have been reported in aquatic habitats, where they can be ingested by marine organisms, including fish, prawn, crabs, and other aerial and terrestrial animals (birds and mammals). The ingestion of microplastics can lead to harmful effect to animals, which can physical and chemically make adverse effect on animals’ organs and various organs system such as nutritional deficiencies, reduced growth rates blockages in the digestive system, reproductive issues, and inflammation and also able to cause of cancer.
Moreover, microplastics have been detected in drinking water, salt, honey, and other food products consumed by humans, raising concerns about their potential impacts on human health. While research is ongoing, there is evidence suggesting that microplastics can penetrate human tissues and organs, potentially causing inflammation, oxidative stress, and other health problems.
In summary, microplastic pollution is an emerging environmental challenge, which require collective efforts from governments, private, industries, and each and every individuals to minimize and eradicate this global issue for sustainable development and bright future.
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