Tissue Accumulation of Microplastics and Toxic Effects: Widespread Health Risks of Microplastics Exposure

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 95)


Currently, ecological risks induced by small plastic particles, fibers, and debris with size less than 5 μm (microplastics, MPs) have attracted worldwide attention. Notably, terrestrial mammals and even human beings would ingest MPs through feeding, breathing, or other routes. However, the potential health risks of MPs for human and other terrestrial mammals were still largely unknown. Herein, we introduced recent studies about the accumulation of MPs in different human cell lines and tissues of terrestrial mammals. Additionally, the related toxic effects of MPs were also summarized. Importantly, priorities and challenges of future health risk research about MPs, such as the key factors influencing the entry of MPs into organisms, toxic mechanisms, and interaction between MPs and other contaminates, have also been discussed.


Health risks Human cells Microplastics Terrestrial mammals Toxicities 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Key Research and Development Project (Grant No. 2017YFC0404503), the financial support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21777068 and 41601529), and the Central Public Research Institute Research Special Fund (Grant No. Y518002).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Environment, Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Environmental Exposure and Health, and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and HealthJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringNanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteNanjingChina

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