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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Food contaminants

Microplastics

Published on 01/04/2019

Keywords : Microplastics, Food contaminants

­­­What are microplastics?

Microplastics are small plastic particles that range in size from 5 millimetres down to a few hundred nanometres, 70 times smaller than the thickness of a hair. Microplastics are ubiquitous in the environment, being found in the air, in homes, in rivers, on land and in the oceans. It is estimated today that 10% of all plastics produced since their invention have ended their lives in the oceans. This makes them a priority area of study. They can float on the surface, be found at a range of depths or even settle on the ocean floor. All living species, from the smallest (e.g. zooplankton) to the largest (e.g. whales), can ingest them....

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