Microplastic research

Research group

Microplastic researc group develops methods for quantitative and qualitative analysis of microplastics from environmental samples and foodstuffs. The ongoing research projects focus on further development of analytical methods and analysis of microplastics from industrial process waters and wastewaters. Moreover, they focus on the migration of microplastics and plastic additives from plastic packaging to food and effects of the migrates to human gut health.

We collaborate actively with Microplastics and Health group in department on Pharmacy, and researchers in department of Clinical Nutrition to study the health effects of (micro)plastics. Moreover, we collaborate with researchers of aquatic ecotoxicology in department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.


Main funder

Academy of Finland

Microplastic research funder logo

Other funders

Business Finland

Pohjois-Savon liitto (EAKR)


Microplastic research at UEF is based on strong expertise in microscopic and spectroscopic analysis, for which we have world-class instrumentations.
Together with Finnish Environment Institute, we formed a consortium that received the first funding for microplastic research from the Academy of Finland (Microplastics in Finnish waters, MIF -project). Our research topics included method development for identification and quantitation of microplastics from environmental samples with FTIR and Raman microspectroscopy, as well as more detailed analysis of chemical composition of microplastics with e.g. NMR and 2D-GC-MS instruments.
Further research funding granted by the Academy of Finland enables us to study the health risks caused by microplastics. We will study how much microplastics and additives are leached from plastic packaging to food. The effects of plastics and their additives are investigated with cell toxicity tests and gut models (Direct microplastic exposure via foodstuff and food packaging, diMPex -project 2020-2024).

By determining the abundances, numbers, chemical compositions, size ranges, and sources of microplastics in different environments and foodstuffs, we gain knowledge about the occurrence of microplastics. The following step is to assess the risks and effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms and human health.

Group members - UEF

Other group members

  • Jouni Sorvari
    Jouni Sorvari jouni.sorvari@uef.fi
  • Eila Torvinen
    Eila Torvinen eila.torvinen@uef.fi
  • Victor Carrasco-Navarro
    Victor Carrasco-Navarro victor.carrasco.navarro@uef.fi
  • Hani El-Nezami
    Hani El-Nezami hani.el-nezami@uef.fi
  • Jussi Kukkonen
    Jussi Kukkonen jussi.kukkonen@uef.fi
  • Maija Lahtela-Kakkonen
    Maija Lahtela-Kakkonen maija.lahtela-kakkonen@uef.fi

Collaboration with UEF research groups

Cooperation partners