Humans are exposed to microplastics and their additives through ingestion, inhalation and possibly through touching plastics the whole day. Children born now are much more exposed to plastics than earlier generations. Many of the harmful substances we are exposed to (such as flame retardants) accumulate in the body over time.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as BPA, which are commonly found in plastics, are possibly related to an increasing number of disorders, from reproductive and development issues to an increased chance of hormone-related cancers. They have been found in breastmilk, amongst other places. EDCs mimic and disrupt the natural behavior of hormones in the body. Newborn babies and young people are extra vulnerable.
The amount of plastics in the environment increases and plastic fragmentizes into ever smaller particles. Nanoparticles may cross cell membranes and spread through the entire body. Among the expected consequences is behavioral change. The occurrence of nanoplastic particles has been observed in both fish and mammals.
BPA has been found in the blood and urine of almost everybody that has been tested. While BPA might be banned from an increasing number of products, alternative bisphenols belong to the same chemical group and can be expected to be equally harmful to health. Beware of greenwashing! Remember, “BPA free” does not mean EDC free!