05 Apr 2022 EVENT

Successful Imptox Workshop featured latest research on micro- and nanoplastics (MNPs)

More than a hundred people logged in on Monday, March 28th to exchange views on the current state of research into MNPs and their impacts on human health.

The Imptox workshop on "Scientific perspectives on the health impacts of micro- and nanoplastics: an open discussion" took place in light of the completion of the first year of the four-year-long Imptox project. Imptox Advisory Board members from the Korea Institute of Analytical Science and Technology (KIAST), the National Institute for Public Health & the Environment in the Netherlands (RIVM) as well as the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) presented their research together with leading scientists from Ghent University, the Max Rubner Institute and the University of Belgrade. 

Imptox Coordinator, Prof. Tanja Ćirković Veličković from the University of Belgrade opened the workshop, while Prof. Andreja Rajkovic led the audience through the morning with thoughtful questions and comments on the science exposed. One of the many interesting aspects that were discussed during the meeting is the great variety of microplastics in terms of composition, size, form and cargo and the challenge this represents for exposure assessment, ecotoxicity and in vitro testing.  Prof. Jana Asselman from Ghent University pointed out that “people tend to look at microplastic as one chemical, but it is not. It is a very diverse group and we need to stop considering them as a single stressor because they are a complex mixture.”

Towards the second half of the morning, COST-Action Priority and NFFA-Europe, both initiatives supported by the European Union, exposed their program in light of a possible future collaboration in research on micro- and nanoplastics.

In her final remarks Imptox Coordinator, Tanja Ćirković Veličković stressed again the importance of cooperation to achieve more in our understanding of these tiny invisible pieces that we know are all around us but are still so little understood.

The Public Workshop was followed in the afternoon and during the day after by the internal Imptox annual meeting, in which scientists presented their research progress and junior researchers exposed their contributions to the Imptox project.