The main goal of PlasticsFatE (Plastics Fate and Effects in the human body) is to improve our present understanding of the impact of micro- and nano-plastics (MP/NP) and associated additives/adsorbed contaminants (A/C) in the human body.
Human exposure to MP/NP may result from the widespread use of plastic products and their release to the environment, where they degrade to MP/NP particles.
But plastics particles reach natural systems as secondary by-products, e.g., from tyre wear or abrasion of textiles. As a consequence, these particles are found in food, drinking water, air and environmental media (food chain, soils).
Despite recent efforts to assess the real dimension of human risks associated with MP/NP, our current knowledge is still insufficient. One of the reasons is the lack of reliable and validated methods that are able to generate the science-based data we need.
PlasticsFatE is a 48-month project funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme of the European Union. The project will run from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2025.
PlasticsFatE will address this challenge and associated uncertainties by implementing a comprehensive measurement and testing program ("test the test"), including inter-laboratory studies, to improve and validate the performance and applicability of available methods and tools to MP/NP.
The tested and validated approaches will be used to (1) identify and detect MP/NP and A/C in a variety of complex matrices, such as food (vegetables, fruits, beverages, fish etc.), human tissues and consumer products (tooth paste, beauty products), as well as relevant environmental media (air, drinking water, soils), and to (2) assess their (also long-term) fate and toxicity in the human body by using advanced cell culture and organ models that simulate real exposure to MP/NP in the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract. The newly developed innovative approaches will be integrated into a novel risk assessment strategy specifically designed for MP/NP to provide the policy relevant and scientifically sound data needed to support the health-relevant aims of European strategies for plastics. PlasticsFatE is part of the European MNP cluster on human health.