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Microplastics enriched with carcinogens like heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and their derivatives are ubiquitous in Arctic waters. They contaminate the local land and sea-based food sources, which is a significant health hazard. It is thus imperative to assess the risk posed by them to the nearby communities, which primarily rely on locally available food sources to meet their energy requirements. This paper proposes a novel ecotoxicity model to assess the human health risk posed by microplastics. The region's geophysical and environmental conditions affecting human microplastic intake, along with the human physiological parameters influencing biotransformation, are incorporated into the developed causation model. It investigates the carcinogenic risk associated with microplastic intake in humans via ingestion in terms of incremental excess lifetime cancer risk (IELCR). The model first evaluates microplastic intake and then uses reactive metabolites produced due to the interaction of microplastics with xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes to assess cellular mutations that result in cancer. All these conditions are mapped in an Object-Oriented Bayesian Network (OOBN) framework to evaluate IELCR. The study will provide a vital tool for formulating better risk management strategies and policies in the Arctic region, especially concerning Arctic Indigenous peoples. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Mohammad Sadiq Saeed, Faisal Fahd, Faisal Khan, Bing Chen, Rehan Sadiq. Human health risk model for microplastic exposure in the Arctic region. The Science of the total environment. 2023 Oct 15;895:165150

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PMID: 37385486

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