Plastic is not only a serious threat to the environment, but perhaps also to our health. We eat, drink and breathe plastic, allowing tiny particles of plastic to penetrate our body. We already know that the chemicals added to plastic are most likely harmful to our body.
There seems to be a connection with fertility problems, language development disorders, cancer, obesity and ADHD. But we cannot say this for sure. Hardly anything is known about the possible health effects of microplastics. Therefore: how dangerous is plastic? And what are the possible consequences for our health?
We are seriously concerned.
For this reason, the Plastic Soup Foundation, together with leading scientists, policymakers and innovators, has taken the initiative to create a new alliance: The Plastic Health Coalition. In this coalition various national and international environmental and research organizations, all of which deal with the effects of (micro)plastics on our health, have joined forces. In this way we want to encourage the initiation of more scientific research into the effects of plastic on our health as soon as possible.
In 2019 the Dutch organisation ZonMw initiated a one-of-a-kind research program called Microplastics & Health. 15 short-term research projects started to find answers to the most pressing questions around microplastics and human health. Preliminary results were shared during the Plastic Health Summit 2019, and more results will be presented during the second Plastic Health Summit on October 21st, 2021. Building upon these earlier findings, the MOMENTUM consortium started in 2021 and aims to identify and ultimately prevent the effects of micro-and nanoplastics on human health.
The research projects focus on a number of important questions:
The Plastic Health Coalition regularly communicates about the various projects and findings.
In addition to MOMENTUM, a European Research Cluster (CUSP) started in 2021 aiming to understand the exposure and health impacts of micro-and nanoplastics. The consortium exists of five projects: AURORA, IMPTOX, Plastic Heal, PlasticsFatE, and POLYRISK.
The Plastic Soup Foundation is organising the second Plastic Health Summit in Amsterdam, on October 21st, 2021.
This year’s theme is One Health, highlighting the synergistic benefit of a healthy environment, healthy animals, and healthy people. We can no longer pretend that damaging behaviour towards the planet advances human health and development – in fact, the opposite is true. This is a critical moment. Plastic shows up everywhere on earth, and through our food, drinks, and the air we breathe micro-and nanoplastics also enter our bodies. The immense impact of plastics on our health and what it means for the next generation will be presented in for separate session; Exposure and Toxic effects, Environmental Justice, Plastic and Me, and The Next Generation.