Nano-childhoods - assessing the exposure of children to tiny man-made materials, including plastics, from infancy to adulthood

Professors Iseult Lynch, Peter Kraftl, and Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill's recent article in the Birmingham Brief highlights the risk of exposure to microplastics and a host of engineered nanoscale materials widely used in products targeting children, such as nano-silver-coated soft toys that are designed to be anti-bacterial, nano-titania and nano-zinc used in sunscreens. 

Nanomaterials are also being developed for use in medicine, agriculture and clothing, making exposure multi-source and multi-route, primarily by ingestion and inhalation. Add microplastics (and their less studied but always present smaller siblings, nanoplastics) to the mix, and there is a continuous exposure to a cocktail of man-made materials that can start in utero, and continues (often without parental awareness) throughout the critical childhood developmental stages, and may over the longer term lead to unintended and potentially unexpected health consequences.

Read the full article in the Birmingham Brief