10 Mar 2023 IN THE NEWS

Explaining Imptox to the Public: Srebrnjak Children’s Hospital on Croatian TV

The Srebrnjak Children's Hospital, a partner of Imptox, recently appeared on national Croatian TV to inform the public about their involvement in this multidisciplinary, EU-funded project.



Despite our limited understanding of how exposure to micro and nanoplastics (MNPs) affects human health, there is mounting evidence that they pose a growing environmental concern. Recent discoveries of MNPs in human blood, lungs, and placentas have heightened public interest in this topic. Many are left wondering about the potential harm these tiny particles may cause inside our bodies. In light of these developments, the Srebrnjak Children's Hospital was invited to speak on national Croatian TV (HRT) in December 2022 and February 2023 to discuss the Imptox project and the specific research being conducted by the hospital as part of this multi-disciplinary, EU-funded initiative.

During the program, Imptox researchers explained that the Srebrnjak Children's Hospital (SCH), as part of the Imptox project, is conducting clinical studies with children to investigate possible links between exposure to micro and nanoplastics (MNPs) and allergic diseases. Children are a particularly vulnerable population due to their developing immune systems. The hospital is collecting stool, sputum, and exhaled breath condensates from participants in three distinct regions of Croatia: the capital city of Zagreb and its surrounding areas, the rural eastern region of Slavonia, and the Mediterranean region of Dalmatia. This approach accounts for various environmental and lifestyle factors, including dietary habits and plastic usage, which could potentially impact the results of the study.

In addition, Professor Mirjana Turkalj, lead Imptox researcher at SCH, also discussed the potential dangers of micro and nanoplastics (MNPs) as carriers of pathogens and other abiotic materials, including metals. This could result in increased resistance to antibiotics, as well as other indirect effects on the immune system through changes in the diversity of the microbiome, particularly in the gut.

It is imperative that we identify the potential risks associated with MNPs in order to develop effective strategies to help protect human health. Given their microscopic size and the potential effect they can have on our bodies, understanding the complexity of MNPs is key in making sure our environment remains safe for future generations.

Imptox members from the Srebrnjak Children’s Hospital testing school-children for food allergens.

For the original programs on HRT (in Croatian), please click on the titles below:

Zdrav zivot - Dec. 15th, 2022

Znanstveni krugovi - Feb. 14th, 2023

Prometej - Feb. 16th, 2023