The Main Goal of this Review : A Part from the Book Chapter : Microplastic Exposure to Infants

Microplastics (MPs)

Scientific studies deal with their presence, distribution, and potential effects on the environment and living organisms. Monitoring and understanding the sources and pathways of MPs are key to developing strategies for their negative impact on the life of organisms on the planet.

The main goal of this review is to summarize the possible exposure of infants to MPs as well as the detection of possible released MPs in infant feces, breast milk, and infant formulas.

In the second chapter, the article will focus on the characteristics, classification and degradation of MPs. The most frequently observed sources of exposure are air, food and beverages. In children, infants and pregnant women, other sources must also be taken into account, as exposure of infants can already occur through the placenta and during breastfeeding through breast milk. Therefore, Section 3 dedicated to monitoring various possible sources of exposure to MPs, especially in children and pregnant women. Identification and quantification of MPs in various matrices through analytical techniques is also essential, to which the last section is devoted.

Author(s) Details:

Csilla Mišľanová
Faculty of Nursing and Professional Health Studies, Institute of Nutrition, Slovak Medical University, 833 03, Bratislava, Slovakia

Martina Valachovičová
Faculty of Nursing and Professional Health Studies, Institute of Nutrition, Slovak Medical University, 833 03, Bratislava, Slovakia

Also See : The Behavior of Arsenic in Paddy Field Soil: A Part from The Book Chapter: Current Status of Arsenic Contamination and the Characterization of Dissimilatory Arsenate-Reducing Bacteria

Recent Global Research Developments in Microplastics Implications for Pregnancy and Child Health

Microplastics in the Human Placenta:

  • A review article [1] highlights that microplastics (tiny plastic particles) have been found in the human placenta. This raises important questions about their effects on pregnancy and offspring health.
  • Considering the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) framework, in utero exposure to microplastics may program lifelong health outcomes for the child.

Plastic Pollution and Health:

  • Plastics, due to their useful characteristics, are widely used in various products.
  • However, excessive plastic use has led to environmental plastic pollution, affecting wildlife and human health.
  • Microplastics are a significant part of this pollution, and their impact on reproductive health is a growing concern.

Specific Risks Associated with Microplastics:

  • Compromised Gamete Quality: Microplastics may affect the quality of male and female gametes (sperm and eggs).
  • Toxicity and DNA Damage: Exposure to microplastics can lead to toxicity, apoptosis, and DNA damage.
  • Maternal Immune System and Fetal Development: Risks to maternal immune systems and fetal development are also highlighted.
  • Inhalation Risks for Children and Infants: Inhalation of microplastics poses potential risks for young children and infants [2].

Further Research Needed:

  • While we’re gaining insights, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of microplastics on pregnancy and child health.


  1. Zurub RE, Cariaco Y, Wade MG and Bainbridge SA (2024) Microplastics exposure: implications for human fertility, pregnancy and child health. Front. Endocrinol. 14:1330396. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1330396
  2. Tanveer, M., Mansha, N., Nimra, A. et al. Microplastics: unraveling the signaling pathways involved in reproductive health. Environ Sci Pollut Res 30, 95077–95085 (2023).
  3. Hasanah, U., Amqam, H., Septami, A. E., Chalid, M., & Aris, A. Z. (2024). Plasticizing pregnancy: microplastics identified in expectant mothers’ feces. Environmental Health Insights, 18, 11786302241235810.

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