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Review

Microplastics Pollution as an Invisible Potential Threat to Food Safety and Security, Policy Challenges and the Way Forward

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Natural Medicines and Products Research Laboratory, Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Aquatic Animal Health and Therapeutics Laboratory (Aqua Health), Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Department of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Bimolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Laboratory of Vaccines and Biomolecules (VacBio), Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249591
Received: 18 November 2020 / Revised: 10 December 2020 / Accepted: 11 December 2020 / Published: 21 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Contaminants and Their Risk Assessment)
Technological advances, coupled with increasing demands by consumers, have led to a drastic increase in plastic production. After serving their purposes, these plastics reach our water bodies as their destination and become ingested by aquatic organisms. This ubiquitous phenomenon has exposed humans to microplastics mostly through the consumption of sea food. This has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to make an urgent call for the assessment of environmental pollution due to microplastics and its effect on human health. This review summarizes studies between 1999 and 2020 in relation to microplastics in aquatic ecosystems and human food products, their potential toxic effects as elicited in animal studies, and policies on their use and disposal. There is a paucity of information on the toxicity mechanisms of microplastics in animal studies, and despite their documented presence in food products, no policy has been in place so far, to monitor and regulates microplastics in commercial foods meant for human consumption. Although there are policies and regulations with respect to plastics, these are only in a few countries and in most instances are not fully implemented due to socioeconomic reasons, so they do not address the problem across the entire life cycle of plastics from production to disposal. More animal research to elucidate pathways and early biomarkers of microplastic toxicity that can easily be detected in humans is needed. This is to create awareness and influence policies that will address this neglected threat to food safety and security. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastics; food safety; food security; exposure; toxicity; policies microplastics; food safety; food security; exposure; toxicity; policies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Usman, S.; Abdull Razis, A.F.; Shaari, K.; Amal, M.N.A.; Saad, M.Z.; Mat Isa, N.; Nazarudin, M.F.; Zulkifli, S.Z.; Sutra, J.; Ibrahim, M.A. Microplastics Pollution as an Invisible Potential Threat to Food Safety and Security, Policy Challenges and the Way Forward. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9591. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249591

AMA Style

Usman S, Abdull Razis AF, Shaari K, Amal MNA, Saad MZ, Mat Isa N, Nazarudin MF, Zulkifli SZ, Sutra J, Ibrahim MA. Microplastics Pollution as an Invisible Potential Threat to Food Safety and Security, Policy Challenges and the Way Forward. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9591. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249591

Chicago/Turabian Style

Usman, Sunusi, Ahmad Faizal Abdull Razis, Khozirah Shaari, Mohammad Noor Azmai Amal, Mohd Zamri Saad, Nurulfiza Mat Isa, Muhammad Farhan Nazarudin, Syaizwan Zahmir Zulkifli, Jumria Sutra, and Musa Adamu Ibrahim. 2020. "Microplastics Pollution as an Invisible Potential Threat to Food Safety and Security, Policy Challenges and the Way Forward" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 24: 9591. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249591

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