The air in the house, the indoor air, contains low concentrations of microplastics. This has emerged from a first literature study by the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. It is not yet known whether these low concentrations are harmful to health.
On average, the concentrations are between 1.6 and 9.3 microplastics per cubic meter. They are relatively large (greater than 11 micrometers) in relation to what is standard measured for air quality. The size of these microplastics says nothing about the harmfulness. There are indications that the concentrations also contain much smaller microplastics. These are only difficult to measure. That needs to be investigated better.
In recent years there has been a lot of attention for very small plastic particles, microplastics, in the environment. They break down very slowly or not and are found all over the environment. It is generally known that small particles of some substances are not good for air quality and therefore public health. The information from the foresight study provides insight into which data is still needed to better map out risks to public health and the environment. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management can then use this to see what measures it can take.
The main source of microplastics that can currently be measured in the home is textiles, such as clothing, carpets and curtains. As a result, one expects mainly microplastics fibers, but many fragment-shaped particles are also found. It must be investigated whether these particles also come from the fibers of textiles or from other sources.
Microplastics detected in indoor air: harmfulness unknown
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