NANOPLASTICS (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     10th January 2024        
output themes

Context: Scientists have found that the average litre of bottled water contains nearly a quarter million invisible pieces of ever-so-tiny nanoplastics.

Nanoplastics

  • About: Nanoplastics are polymer-based particles (e.g. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polystyrene) in the nanometre size range.
  • Size: Ranging from 1 nm to 1 μm.

oThey are directly released to the environment or secondarily derived from plastic disintegration in the environment.

  • Ubiquitous presence: They've been found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and even our food.
  • Potential health risks: Their small size allows them to potentially cross biological barriers and enter cells, raising concerns about potential health impacts.
  • Ecological effects: They can harm marine life, disrupt ecosystems, and potentially affect biodiversity.
  • Impacts:

oMarine life: Nano-plastics can be ingested by fish and shellfish, potentially entering the food chain and impacting human health.

oEcosystem disruption: They can alter nutrient cycles, affect plankton growth, and disrupt delicate ecological balances.

Samadhaan