Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment of Micro- and Nanoplastics

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 610

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Global Innovative Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials, The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Interests: microplastics in the aquatic environment; plastics and human health; plastic–microbe interaction; in vitro/in vivo toxicity models; microplastics treatment technologies; biodegradable plastics; mixed contaminants

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Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Interests: ecological risk assessment; microplastics sampling and analysis; community education and training on plastics; plastic waste management

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Guest Editor
The Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, United Kingdom
Interests: microplastics in the marine environment; deep sea ecosystem studies; benthic biodiversity; impact of plastics on marine life; microplastics in sediments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global plastic production has increased exponentially over the past decades. A significant proportion of the plastic produced is not disposed of properly and persists in the environment, especially the marine environment. Plastic products can be slowly degraded into smaller pieces (micro- or even nanoplastics). Micro-and nanoplastics are a potential planetary boundary threat, either purposefully made or forming through ageing and weathering effects. The debris is filtered into marine species’ gastrointestinal tract mechanically or it may look like food to some species, thus entering the food chain, with unknown effects.

Human exposure to microplastics is via both dietary sources and by inhalation. Microplastics can be small enough to be engulfed by cells and be transported by the lymphatic and blood systems, with the potential to bioaccumulate. They may contain harmful chemical additives incorporated during manufacture or may adsorb pollutants from the surrounding environment, which could be released to tissues. Many of these are recognised priority pollutants with known adverse health effects. Additionally, the persistent nature, surface chemistry and irregular shapes of the particles may cause inflammation. Despite the potential for human exposure to microplastics, any health effects are unknown.

Risk assessments and reviews carried out in recent years have concluded that there is evidence that humans are exposed to micro- and nanoplastics through their diet, drinking water or inhalation. However, our understanding of the fate and toxicity of these plastic particles in humans constitutes a major knowledge gap, rendering it difficult to carry out proper science-based risk assessment and management. This Special Issue welcomes any submissions focusing on the latest findings, evidence on the exposure and risk assessment of micro- and nanoplastics to better understand the threat. Studies examining new sources of microplastics, improved detection methods and in vitro tools are welcome.

Dr. Thava Palanisami
Dr. Scott P. Wilson
Dr. Bhavani Narayanaswamy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • microplastics
  • nanoplastics
  • toxicity
  • risk assessment
  • human health
  • ingestion
  • inhalation
  • chemical migration

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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