Alabi OA, Ologbonjaye KI, Awosolu O, Alalade OE (2019) Public and Environmental Health Effects of Plastic Wastes Disposal: A Review. J Toxicol Risk Assess 5:021.


© 2019 Alabi OA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

REVIEW ARTICLE | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/2572-4061.1510021

Public and Environmental Health Effects of Plastic Wastes Disposal: A Review

Okunola A Alabi1*, Kehinde I Ologbonjaye1, Oluwaseun Awosolu1 and Olufiropo E Alalade2

1Department of Biology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

2Department of Social Studies, Federal College of Education, Oyo State, Nigeria


Since 1950 to 2018, about 6.3 billion tonnes of plastics have been produced worldwide, 9% and 12% of which have been recycled and incinerated, respectively. Human population increase and consistent demand for plastics and plastic products are responsible for continuous increase in the production of plastics, generation of plastic waste and its accompanied environmental pollution. We have reviewed in this paper, the most relevant literatures on the different types of plastics in production, the hazardous chemical constituents, prevailing disposal methods and the detrimental effects of these constituents to air, water, soil, organisms and human health viz-a-viz the different disposal methods. Papers that reported environmental and public health effects of plastic constituents but not plastics directly were also reviewed. Varieties of plastics used in the production of many consumable products including medical devices, food packaging and water bottles contain toxic chemicals like phthalates, heavy metals, bisphenol A. brominated flame retardants, nonylphenol, polychlorinated biphenylethers, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, phenanthrene etc. An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic is yearly released into the ocean, leading to degradation of marine habitat which eventually affects aquatic organisms. Long term usage and exposure of plastics and plastic products to high temperature can lead to leaching of toxic chemical constituents into food, drinks and water. Indiscriminate disposal of plastics on land and open air burning can lead to the release of toxic chemicals into the air causing public health hazards. This paper also presents recommendations for global prevention and control of plastic wastes.