“Every day we are ingesting tiny, often microscopic pieces of plastic known as ‘microplastics’ with our food, beverages and the air we breathe,” the report warns. Since 2018, public concern has escalated about the impact of these plastic particles in the environment and on people’s health. The report says the potential hazards associated with microplastics come in three forms: from the particles themselves, from chemicals that make them up, and from “microorganisms that may attach and colonize on microplastics, known as biofilms.” “With the data that we have, we can say that we believe the risk to be low, but at the same time, we can’t rule out conclusively that there might never be a risk in the future,” the WHO report concluded.
Many questions are to be answered, however. “Could the bacteria metabolize plastic in a way that changes the composition of the microbiome and affects health? Could substances created by bacterial breakdown of plastic be absorbed into the bloodstream and lead to health problems?” and more, and more. Plastic production is predicted to double by 2025 and more than triple by 2050. Microscopic particles of plastic were found even in snow in the remote regions of the Arctic.