The CUSP partner project Plasticheal has announced the launch of an open and online directory that brings together relevant research on micro- and nanoplastics (MNPLs) worldwide.
The Plasticheal database is an attempt to gather information on all the different known projects that study the health and environmental risks of plastic pollution and compare it with the knowledge gaps that have been identified so far. This is the first open directory focused on the impact of MNPLs on human health. It has been designed to become a hub for risk assessment of MNPLs and relevant regulatory research, and it is aimed at the public, science professionals, and policy makers.
The projects currently in the database are mostly being or have been developed in Europe, although initiatives from the United States are also included, and it is expected that projects from other geographic and working areas will be added as they are identified. Users can submit their contributions through the form available in the directory.
“We hope to develop a database in which we can continuously track the information that different projects are generating and to analyze what key aspects they are addressing or the degree of depth with which they are doing so,” said Steffen Foss Hansen, Associate Professor of regulatory engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and leader of the team in charge of database development.
Deepening the search
The built-in analytical function will allow people to search across all the different projects to learn, for instance, how much funding has gone into addressing various knowledge gaps, how funding and projects have been distributed across geographical areas, or to investigate different categories of research: environment, health, air pollution, etc.
“This is a milestone in the development of the Plasticheal framework on how to address the study of the risks associated with micro- and nanoplastics, including the results and information generated from other projects and, at the same time, addressing all key aspects without duplicating the work done”, explained Alba Hernández Bonilla, Project Coordinator and Aggregate Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
Everyone is invited to visit and explore the new Plasticheal database.