Assessing Dietary Exposure to Microplastics

Food products can become contaminated with nanoplastics and microplastics (NMP) at any stage of the manufacturing process due to the ubiquitous use of plastics materials and wide-spread environmental contamination.

While knowledge about dietary exposure to NMPs has grown over the last decade, there is still little data on NMP contamination on a range of commonly consumed foods, with most studies focusing on marine organisms and counting particles in the micro-range (typically >10-20 µm). Furthermore, there are no standardised methods for measuring NMP contamination and more research is needed to determine the most reliable methods to capture data required to inform human health risk assessments.

This project aims to investigate dietary exposure to NMPs in the Australian population, and evaluate the utility of a range NMP extraction and analysis techniques in food matrices.

Conference Presentations

Jeffries, C., Rauert, C., Thomas, K. T. Dietary Exposure to Microplastics / Whole of Diet Exposure to Microplastics. Queensland Mass Spectrometry Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 1 – 9 December 2022.

Jeffries, C., Rauert, C., Thomas, K. T. Estimating total dietary exposure to nano- and microplastics. SETAC Australasia, Townsville, Australia, 5-8 August 2023.

Awards and Prizes
  • Best Student Presentation in Environmental Chemistry, SETAC Australasia Conference, Townsville, Australia, 2023.

Project members

Coral Jeffries

PhD Candidate

Dr Cassandra Rauert

Senior Research Fellow

Prof Kevin Thomas

QAEHS Director
and Theme Leader, Environmental Health Toxicology