Micro and nanoplastics are vectors of chemical propagation and antimicrobial resistance in the aquatic environment

Julien Gigault (Geosciences Rennes) is receiving European Water JPI funding for an international project called NANO-CARRIERS.

Water JPI

In 2016, global plastic production was estimated at over 300 million tonnes. It is now widely accepted that some of this plastic reaches the aquatic environment in the form of plastic debris of different sizes. While Rochman et al, in the journal Nature in 2013, suggested "classifying plastic waste as hazardous", the extent of the impact of plastic debris on the aquatic environment and human health remains largely unknown in 2018.

Although it is the least studied aspect of plastic debris in the environment, nanometer-sized plastic is potentially the most dangerous. A major source of micro and nanoplastics (micro and nanoplastics = MNPs) is urban sludge and wastewater effluents, which are also likely to have a direct impact on water bodies and soils through the reuse of treated wastewater, a practice that is increasingly encouraged in the EU and worldwide.

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