Microplastics: the environmental risk assessment, general criteria and approaches



Chemsafe, Colleretto Giacosa (TO), Italy


As already written in our last paper, on January 11, 2019, ECHA delivered a Restriction Dossier by a cooperation with KEMI (the Swedish Chemical Agency) addressed to those microplastics intentionally added to a variety of products.  The ECHA concern associated with microplastics is related to the potential environmental and human risks posed by the presence of solid particles of synthetic polymer based materials in the environment that:


  1. are small or very small (microscopic) making them readily available for ingestion and potentially liable to transfer within food chains;
  2. are very resistant to environmental (bio)degradation which lead them to be very persistence in the environmental compartments (being present for a long time);
  3. can degrade in the environment progressively via fragmentation into smaller and smaller particles up to “nanoplastic” which may cause additional unknown adverse effects;
  4. are practically impossible to remove from the environmental after release.


The small dimension of microplastics a ...