Malvern Panalytical and The Momentum Project

25 Mar 2023
5 min read

While we know nano and microplastics are all around us, in our drinking water, food and air, and their presence is expected to increase over the next decades, little is known about their effects on human health.

Malvern Panalytical is part of the MOMENTUM project, a research consortium supported by ZonMw and Health-Holland, that in consultation with key stakeholders from academia, government, industry and citizen organizations aims to unravel the human health effects of nano– and microplastics (MNPs) and propose solutions to minimize their health impact. The Epsilon4, a multi-functional benchtop XRF analyser, is being used in the program to give fast and accurate results identifying the micro and nano plastics in the samples.

It is the first time that research can base its results on micro and nano plastic particles that mimic the ones found in our environment. In the past research used off-the-shelf micro and nano plastic particles bought from industry, which were similar but not exactly like those found in our environment. Malvern Panalytical analysed the particles in our lab in Almelo and characterized them. Now these particles can be produced so that they mimic the plastics we ingest.

This is the first step in MOMENTUM’s large scale 3-year research program investigating the effects of plastics on our health. At the end of the study, the team will also present a road map to the Dutch government and the European Commission for better assessment and mitigation of the potential risks of MNPs, which will help shape policies that promote a healthier environment for us all.

Video with Dr. Juliette Legler, Professor of Toxicology and Momentum Project Leader: