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We eat and inhale thousands of bits of plastic every year. Now what?

EC Horizon Magazine introduces the CUSP Cluster


The European Commission’s research and innovation magazine, Horizon, has published an article that highlights investigations into the effects of plastic micro and nanoparticles on human health. The article introduces PlasticsFatE and its sibling projects: the five Horizon 2020 research projects that comprise CUSP - the European Research Cluster to Understand the Health Impacts of Micro- and Nanoplastics, which aims to close knowledge gaps and inform policymaking.


The article explains:

"In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its first report on the effects of microplastics on human health. It concluded that there is not enough data yet on humans to know if microplastic particles are hurting us. The WHO called for more research into microplastics.


That’s exactly what is being done in laboratories across Europe. Spearheading efforts in research on micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs), the European Research Cluster to Understand the Health Impacts of Micro- and Nanoplastics (CUSP cluster) was formed in April 2021 by five multidisciplinary research consortia: AURORA, Imptox, PLASTICHEAL, PlasticsFatE and POLYRISK.


This consortium of scientists, industry and policymakers are collaborating in the largest effort so far in Europe to uncover the complex relationship between MNPs and human health, from early life to adulthood."


The five research consortia will contribute to uncovering exposure routes and developing new analytical tools. In this effort, cooperation is foreseen with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.


The Commission has published a short explainer video about the CUSP Cluster to accompany the article. More information about the cluster’s latest research is available on the CUSP news page as well as by visiting each of the five individual projects’ websites: AURORA, IMPTOX, PLASTICHEAL, PlasticsFatE, and POLYRISK.



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