Microplastic pollution rife in Malaysian rivers

Cause for concern: An angler sets up his fishing rod at a popular spot along Sungai Langat in Banting, Selangor. Research shows that microplastic contamination is high in Sungai Langat and other rivers in the country. — FAIHAN GHANI/ The Star

SCIENTISTS are only just beginning to understand the impacts of microplastics on human health. There is mounting evidence that these microscopic pieces of plastic, which are often invisible to the naked eye, can cause respiratory problems, especially for those with existing conditions.

Reports are now increasingly associating inflammatory bowel disease with the presence of microplastic particles in stool. Although there is no direct evidence to link microplastics to cancer, its presence can lead to tissue inflammation, which may result in DNA damage, the initial stage of cancer development.

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