Degrading our planet, one nanoparticle at a time
This year, India and the United Nations (UN) are jointly hosting the global World Environment Day celebrations, with ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ as the central theme. There is no reason to celebrate, really. Recently there was alarming news of how we are ingesting plastic nanoparticles in the food that makes it to our tables. It’s time to fix the problem but where do we even begin?
Image by : Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Microplastic pollution arguably poses a bigger threat to life on land, according to UN Environment report. Sewage sludge - which contains upto 80 percent plastic particles - is often applied to fields as fertilizer, ends up affecting fauna’s health and soil functions. Additives from plastic particles can disrupt the hormone system of vertebrates and invertebrates. Nano-sized particles may cause inflammation, traverse cellular barriers, and affect the placenta. Within the cell, they can trigger changes in gene expression and biochemical reactions, among other things.