Microplastics are plastic fragments below 1 millimeter in size, which can result from a variety of sources such as clothing, cosmetics, industrial processes and degradation of plastic items. They have been detected in air, water, and even in food. While their effects on human health are still under investigation, recent studies show that microplastics could affect the nervous, respiratory and digestive system, with the smallest particles capable of crossing cellular membranes. Regrettably, microplastics have been reported in almost every environment, even in remote areas like Mount Everest and the Mariana Trench. CERIC users presented the first evidence of microplastics in the Antarctic terrestrial food web.
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Graphical abstract of the research work