• Microplastics are present in the air – according to the EcoLab research institute in France
  • Washing 6 kg of clothes of all kinds will release 728,000 microplastic fibers – According to COMPOSE
  • Microplastics, if broken, can cause neurological diseases and respiratory diseases – According to research published in the scientific journal Elsevier.

And many other facts will be revealed about microplastics in the article below. From discovering the size of microplastics, the ability to absorb, to how to classify microplastics based on the source and how people “eat” microplastics. Let’s discover the facts about microplastics with CHANGE below!

Microplastics and size of them

Microplastics are microscopic pieces of plastic less than 5 mm in size (equal and invisible to the naked eye), even with particles as small as 1 micrometer (1/1000 millimeter). Because of their very small size, microplastics can easily enter the human body and other organisms through the digestive tract and the air. Microplastics are difficult to decompose, so they last a long time. (Because plastic products take up to 500 years to decompose into microplastic particles, fibers, pellets).

Microplastics are in the waste of plastic cups, the degradable BAG to the toothpaste used every day.

Based on the origin of microplastics, we can divide them into 2 types of microplastics, including:

  • Secondary microplastics are very small pieces of plastic that break down from larger plastic debris such as plastic bags, bottles, cups, and plastic straws.
  • Primary microplastics are microplastics that are directly put into production in the process of many commonly used products such as toothpaste, facial cleanser, cosmetics, nail polish. Primary microplastics in facial cleansers and shower gels play the role of helping to clean dirt on the skin. In toothpaste, they are used to form tiny particles of beautiful color, maintaining the texture depending on the requirements of each product.


According to research by the EcoLab research institute in France, microplastics are present in the air we breathe every day and have the ability to spread widely by winds. In addition, microplastics are also recorded to accumulate a lot in seafood when up to 8,800,000 million tons of waste enter the sea every year. From there, each person has an average risk of “eating” up to 5 grams of microplastics weekly.

Microplastics can contain a wide range of additives such as heavy metal compounds, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), hormone disruptors (EDCs)… Plastic has the ability to absorb harmful microorganisms or pollutants, so there is a high risk that it will negatively affect the human digestive system and nervous system.

According to a study published in 2018, every time microplastic breaks, it produces a lot of toxins that can be dangerous to human health. At that time, people may experience hormone imbalance, neurological diseases, respiratory diseases, affect brain structure, cause hyperactivity, weakening and altering the immune system along the way. a host of other dangers, etc


If classified based on the shape of microplastics, we will have 3 main types: filamentous, granular and pellet microplastics. In which, microplastics in the form of fibers are recorded to account for the majority of natural microplastics at present, and come mostly from washing activities when 728,000 microplastic fibers are released into the environment every time 6kg of clothes are washed.

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