Microplastics are harmful and stay in the body.

Environmental experts say that microplastics, which are mostly consumed through seafood, can negatively impact human health.

Theng Lee Chong, an expert in waste management and environment, said that scientists found out that microplastics can interact with the human body primarily through ingestion or inhalation. This interaction produces different levels of toxicity depending on the type of microplastics.

Microplastics are contaminants external to our bodies that are unlikely to be eliminated.

He said that the substance would remain in the body for the remainder of his life, and could have various health effects in the future.

He said that this included negative impacts on human hormones, reproductive systems, and even the development of cancer.

He said, however, that the World Health Organisation has stated that more comprehensive research is required to accurately assess exposure to microplastics, and their potential impact on human healthcare.

Theng stated that to reduce the risk of microplastic ingestion, it is essential for consumers to increase their knowledge about the sources of microplastics.

“Seafood, and especially shellfish have the highest level of microplastics.” He said that teabags and synthetic fibre clothing also contained microplastics.

He advised consumers to check product labels for plastics or microbeads.

He said that changing people’s habits or lifestyles is difficult, especially when it comes to changing consumption habits.

He said that people might still choose to eat lobsters, even though they are aware of the high levels of microplastics.

Theng said that government policy and intervention are crucial in addressing the issue of microplastics, and its impact.

This can be achieved by a more effective control of product specifications, packaging, the ban on certain high-impact products and continuous awareness raising.

Theng said the government should make rational decisions based on scientific research and not business-oriented decisions.

He added that the treatment and disposal capacities could be improved in order to minimize leakages of microplastics. This can be achieved through a strict regulatory framework for pollution.

Nina Diana Nawi, senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said that microplastics can be generated by a variety of sources including human activity.

“For example, the creation of new products, management of homes, offices, unsustainable waste disposal, sports, vacations and marine activities.

These are the major sources of microplastics in water.

She said that industrial areas, densely populated urban areas and residential areas are the main contributors to microplastics found in freshwater systems.

Microplastics are also a result of anthropogenic activities such as the use of household items, food packaging, washing, fishing, surface coatings, and car tyres.

Nina explained that microplastics enter the ocean through pollution, rain and sewage. Marine life then consumes these microplastics which are consumed by humans.

She said that the primary source of microplastics is micro-sized plastics, which are produced by industry, including toothpaste, facial cleaners, fishing line, toys, and cosmetics.

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