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PlasticsFatE is one of five research projects in a European research cluster (CUSP), that collaborates to understand the health effects of micro- and nanoplastics and involves 28 partners from 11 European countries.

The project will develop and validate new methods for characterisation of micro- and nanoplastics particles, focusing on exposure and health effects. STAMI’s specific focus area is airborne micro- and nanoplastic particles in the working environment.

Project manager: Anani K. Johnny Afanou


Micro- and nanoplastics is now part of everyday life. These small plastic particles emanate from the degradation of larger plastic items, or they are intentionally manufactured and added to commercial products such as cosmetics, synthetic textiles or paints. They find their way into our body through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Pollutants, such as heavy metals, allergens, toxicants, and microorganisms, can latch on to them and may further endanger the environment as well as human and animal health.

Despite recent efforts to assess the real dimension of human risks associated with micro- and nanoplastics, our current knowledge is still insufficient. One of the reasons is the lack of reliable and validated methods that can generate the science-based data we need.


The objective of PlasticsFatE is to develop a panel of well-characterized micro- and nanoplastics test and reference materials, establish validated methods to measure such particles in complex matrices, assess relevant exposure levels and sources, and gain knowledge about the particles’ fates and toxicity in the human body. This includes the development of in vitro and in vivo models to simulate real exposure to micro- and nanoparticles in the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract.
The newly developed innovative approaches will be integrated into a novel risk assessment strategy specifically designed for micro- and nanoparticles.

Scientific relevance

PlasticsFatE will make an important contribution to the understanding of the effect of plastic particles in humans, and as such contribute to implementing relevant EU strategies and international standardisation.

At STAMI, PlasticsFatE will contribute with more knowledge about the occurrence, exposure level, diversity in types and sizes of micro- nanoplastics as wells as associated adverse health effects in working environments and thus provide the basis for understanding how plastic particles can affect occupational health.

Collaboration partners:

  • Private research institutes: ISTEC-CEN, CSIC (Spania), ITENE (Spania), UFZ (Tyskland), FHG (Tyskland), IGB (Tyskland), GAIKER (Spania)
  • National research institutes: STAMI (Norge), BAM (Tyskland), NRCWE (Danmark), UBA (Tyskland)
  • Medical research institutes: UMCU (Nederland), FAU (Tyskland),
  • Universities: WFSR (Nederland), ULEIDEN (Nederland), UL (Slovenia), BOKU (Østerrike), UBT (Tyskland), UNITO (Italia), URTV (Italia), UP (Frankrike), NTUA (Hellas)
  • Other partners: ENAS (Tyskland), ERS (Tyskland), INNO (Nederland), OPTIMAT (England), DECHEMA (Tyskland), ECAMRICERT (Italia)

Economic funding:

EU-Horizon 2020