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Advancing Science for Global Health
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Home > News > Global Health Matters > Global Health Matters Sep/Oct 2019 > WHO calls for more research into microplastics pollution Print

WHO calls for more research into microplastics pollution

September / October 2019 | Volume 18, Number 5

Pieces of plastic that washed ashore after a storm in the Pacific Ocean beach in San Francisco.
Plastic Ocean by Kevin Krejci CC BY 2.0

The WHO has released an assessment on microplastics in drinking water that suggests current levels aren’t a human health risk but more studies are needed. The report examines the evidence related to the occurrence of microplastics in both tap and bottled drinking water, the potential health impacts, and the removal of microplastics during wastewater and drinking-water treatment.

Researchers should undertake targeted, well-designed and quality-controlled investigations to better understand the occurrence of microplastics in the water supply chain and their health effects under relevant exposure scenarios, according to the WHO.

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