Are micro and nanoplastics accumulating in human organs and tissues?
Plastics pollution has become a major global problem, with plastics waste spread throughout vast swaths of the planet, especially oceans. Recent research shows small bits of plastics are even finding their way into humans, with possible detrimental effects on the body’s organs and tissues. ASU’s Center for Environmental Heath Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, has been at the forefront of studies of plastics pollution and its impacts. In a recent interview, Halden, joined by Fulton Schools environmental engineering doctoral student Varun Kelkar and postdoctoral research Charles Rolsky — who also is the director of science in North America for Plastic Oceans International — provide details on what we know about the scope of the problem, what more we need to learn and what we can do to reduce the risks it poses.