Micro-plastics and public health

The Department of Health (DOH) is aware that there is currently limited research into the nature, extent and effects of micro-plastics on public health.   

The fact sheet  Micro-Plastics and Public Health (PDF 483KB)  provides information about:  

  • the term micro-plastics and what it means
  • how micro-plastics end up in the environment
  • exposure to micro-plastics and the affects on health. 

Although there is still much more research to be done, the current advice from organisations such the World Health Organisation (WHO), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is that it is unlikely that current levels of consumption of micro-plastics in our food and drink is harmful to human health.

The DOH supports this advice. However, plastic pollution is a growing problem and, irrespective of any human health risks, appropriate measures should be taken to reduce the use of plastics where possible and to minimise the release of plastics into the environment because of their broader ecological impacts.

More information 

Chemical Hazards

Phone: (08) 9222 2000
Email: DOH.ChemicalHazards@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 15-03-2021
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate