Microplastics in human food chains: Food becoming a threat to health safety

Abdullah Al Mamun, Tofan Agung Eka Prasetya, Indiah Ratna Dewi, Monsur Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


While versatile application of plastics has generated huge benefits in our life, the ‘plastic end-of-life’ comes with downsides of emerging concern is plastic particles within all parts of environments. Plastics are highly resistant to degradation and sustain in the environment for a prolonged period resulting in easy access of microplastics into human food chain. Microplastic exposure to humans is caused by foods of both animal and plant origin, food additives, drinks, and plastic food packaging. Living organisms can accumulate microplastics in cells and tissues which results in threats of chronic biological effects and potential health hazards for humans including body gastrointestinal disorders, immunity, respiratory problem, cancer, infertility, and alteration in chromosomes. Because of the threat of microplastics on human health, it is essential to ensure food safety as well as control plastic use with strict regulation of proper management. This study aims to enlighten future research into the core component of microplastics, their exposure to human food, prevention to human food chain, and biological reactions in human body. Finally, it is recommended to consider the presence of microplastics in different foods, as most of the existing research mainly focused on sea foods. And it is important to study the mechanism of toxicity with pathways in the human body based on the different types, shapes, and sizes of plastic particles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number159834
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Environmental pollution
  • Food safety
  • Hazardous chemical
  • Hazardous waste
  • Health risk
  • Plastics pollution


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