Which health risks are perceived as particularly acute in everyday life? This is the question addressed by the Consumer Monitor, a regular representative survey by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). In a poll of given health and consumer topics, microplastics are at the top of the concern list (66 percent are very concerned, 20 percent "moderately" concerned). In second place, antibiotic resistance is mentioned (58 percent/20 percent), in third place residues of pesticides in food (57 percent/19 percent). Microplastics are also a topic of natural and social science research at the BfR. "The Consumer Monitor confirms the results of our surveys and interviews on microplastics," says Dr Robin Janzik from the BfR's Risk Communication Department. "The population is facing large knowledge gaps - risk communication can help to reduce that uncertainty." According to the current state of knowledge, health risks for humans from plastic particles in food are unlikely.
Link to the Consumer Monitor
Food, personal care products, clothing, toys: What do you think are the greatest health risks here? The most frequent answer to this question is undesirable substances ("pesticides", "chemicals", 27 percent, multiple answers possible). In second place are plastics with twelve percent, followed by insufficient or misleading consumer information (10 percent) and certain nutrients such as sugar, salt or fat (9 percent).
About the BfR
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It advises the Federal Government and the federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemicals and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.
This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.