Innovative tools to study the impact and mode of action of micro- and nanoplastics on human health: towards a knowledge base for risk assessment (PlasticHeal)

The exponential increase in the production and use of plastic has resulted in a parallel increase of environmental plastic waste, which is continuously degraded into micro- and nanoplastics (MNPLs).
Plastic items on the beach




Current information on the effects of MNPLs on human health is still preliminary, and the limitations of current methodologies prevent accurate human exposure/risk assessment.

PlasticHeal is a large EU project that aims to provide regulators with new methodologies and solid scientific evidence by combining the use of breakthrough research and validated test methods to create a knowledge base for adequate risk assessment of MNPLs.

Eleven partners from different European countries participate in this project. These include universities and research and technological institutes. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) is leading a work package (WP) in human biomonitoring, and several tasks on environmental exposure assessment, and the in vitro evaluation of the genotoxic effects of MNPLs.

To reach its overall aims, PlasticHeal will:

  1. Provide legislators with data, methodologies, experimental models, and biological endpoints of effect for risk assessment and decision-making.
  2. Fill current knowledge gaps in terms of MNPLs hazard to human health.
  3. Develop new, more comprehensive methodologies, experimental models, and biological endpoints of effect, which will enable a more solid understanding of the complex interplay between MNPLs modes of action and adverse outcome pathways in humans.

This information will support regulatory decision-making and potentially take on a more prominent role in future frameworks.

Ask about the project

Julia Catalán Rodríguez

julia.catalan [at]
+358 30 474 2210

Project co-ordinator

Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain


EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, grant agreement No. 965196