【国会发言】2024公共卫生年,新加坡关注微塑料和纳米塑料问题

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2024年4月3日,新加坡永续发展与环境部兼交通部高级政务部长许连碹博士与裕廊集选区议员陈有明就微塑料和纳米塑料对人类健康的潜在影响进行讨论。

2024公共卫生年,新加坡关注微塑料和纳米塑料问题

许连碹

新加坡永续发展与环境部兼交通部高级政务部长

2024公共卫生年,新加坡关注微塑料和纳米塑料问题

陈有明

裕廊集选区议员

以下内容为新加坡眼根据国会英文资料翻译整理:

 

陈有明医生向永续发展与环境部长提问:

(a)部门是否进行了有关微塑料和纳米塑料对人类健康潜在影响的前瞻性研究,如果有,是如何进行的;以及

(b)新加坡的可持续发展是否可以纳入减少可能导致微塑料和纳米塑料进入环境、食物链和日常生活的物品的使用。

 

永续发展与环境部高级政务部长 许连碹博士(代表长永续发展与环境部长)回答:世界卫生组织(WHO)和联合国粮食及农业组织在其2022年的报告中指出,目前还没有足够数据来全面了解微塑料和纳米塑料对人类健康的影响。尽管如此,我们正在密切关注国际讨论和科学研究的这一主题。

 

微塑料和纳米塑料可能是由较大塑料碎片分解产生的。我们已经实施了措施来减少塑料废物,并最大程度地减少来自陆地源的塑料废物进入环境和海洋水域的潜在贡献。这些措施包括强有力的废物管理系统、严格的禁止乱扔垃圾执法制度,以及鼓励企业和个人减少一次性塑料消耗的措施。

 

2024年被指定为公共卫生年。我们正在加大与利益相关者合作,加强清洁,解决乱扔垃圾问题,包括塑料废物。我们敦促每个人都尽自己的一份力,防止塑料垃圾进入我们的环境。

 

议长先生:陈有明医生

 

裕廊的陈有明医生:我感谢高级国务部长的答复。我有两个补充问题。第一个问题是,我们的机构是否积极对医学和科学文献进行前瞻性调查,而且,我能否提醒部长关注2024年3月7日发表在国际同行评议的期刊《新英格兰医学杂志》上的一篇文章?它的标题是“微塑料和纳米塑料在动脉粥样硬化和心血管事件中的作用”(Microplastics and Nanoplastics in Atheromas and Cardiovascular Events),简而言之,这篇研究文章探讨了微塑料和纳米塑料是否存在于患有疾病的人的血管中,以及它们是否与未来心血管疾病风险相关。

 

所以,我可以问部长第二个问题,虽然现在还处于早期阶段,而且这只是国际同行评议期刊上发表的一项研究,永续发展与环境部(MSE)是否会与卫生部(MOH)和其他健康机构合作,了解这方面的不断发展的证据,以便新加坡可以根据科学的不断发展及时做出决策?

 

许连碹博士:我感谢议员的补充问题和意见。让我说,的确,这个问题正在逐渐引起关注。这个问题已成为各种国际研究和研究的主题,正如议员所引用的那样,这是其中之一。

 

但正如我先前提到的,根据我之前引用的2022年WHO报告,该报告指出,目前全球对微塑料和纳米塑料对健康风险的影响的证据仍然不足,需要更多数据来更好地了解人类的暴露情况以及进一步表征和量化人类健康风险。

 

即使像议员所引用的研究也得出了需要进一步研究的结论。

 

因此,MSE和MOH以及各个相关机构正在紧密合作,以更好地了解和监测这些环境污染物 – 微塑料和纳米塑料 – 对人类健康的影响,我们将继续跟踪这一领域的国际研究和研究,并愿意考虑支持有关此主题的相关和有用的研究。

 

但与此同时,我们将继续研究如何减少塑料废物,以及通过我们的废物管理系统、禁止乱扔垃圾的执法制度以及让企业和个人也减少塑料废物创造的数量,减少塑料废物进入环境和海洋水域的数量。

 

并且,作为一个保证,让我也说说,自2017年以来,公用事业局已经在我们的四个国家自来水源中进行了两年一次的监测,以检测水中是否存在微塑料。截至2023年的最新测试结果,我们在经过处理的水中没有检测到任何微塑料,我们将继续继续监测这一领域的发展情况。

 

2024公共卫生年,新加坡关注微塑料和纳米塑料问题

以下是英文质询内容:

Dr Tan Wu Meng asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry performs horizon scanning of the potential impact of microplastics and nanoplastics on human health and, if so, how; and (b) whether Singapore’s sustainability efforts can incorporate reducing the use of items which may contribute to microplastics and nanoplastics being introduced into the environment, food chain and daily life.

The Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment (Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan) (for the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment): The World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations have indicated in their respective reports in 2022 that there is insufficient data to fully understand the impact of microplastics and nanoplastics on human health. Nonetheless, we are closely monitoring international discussions and scientific studies on this topic.

Microplastics and nanoplastics can be produced from the breakdown of larger plastic debris. We have implemented measures to reduce plastic waste, as well as minimise the potential contribution of plastic debris into the environment and marine waters from land-based sources. These include robust waste management systems, a strict anti-littering enforcement regime and measures to encourage businesses and individuals to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics.

Sir, 2024 is designated as the Year of Public Hygiene. We are increasing efforts to work with stakeholders to enhance cleanliness and address littering, including that of plastic waste. We urge everyone to do your part, to keep plastic litter from entering our environment.

Mr Speaker: Dr Tan Wu Meng.

Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong): I thank the Senior Minister of State for her answer. I have two supplementary questions. The first question is on whether or not our agencies are actively doing horizon scans of the medical and scientific literature, and further to that, may I draw the Minister’s attention to an article published in the international peer-reviewed journal, The New England Journal of Medicine, on 7 March 2024? It is entitled “Microplastics and Nanoplastics in Atheromas and Cardiovascular Events”, in summary, the research article looks at whether microplastics and nanoplastics can be found in the blood vessels of persons who are unwell and if they correlate with future risk of cardiovascular illness.

So, can I ask secondly to the Minister, although it is still in its early days and although this is just one study published in an international peer-reviewed journal, will the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) work with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other health agencies, to get a sense of what the evolving evidence is on this, so that Singapore can move and make decisions in a timely way, as our understanding evolves regarding the science?

Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan: I thank the Member for his supplementary questions, as well as comments. Let me say that, indeed, there is growing momentum on this issue. This issue has been the subject of various international studies and research, and as the Member has cited, this is one of the research that has been undertaken.

But as I have noted, currently, based on the 2022 WHO report that I had cited earlier, the report has stated that the current global evidence on the impact of micro- and nanoplastics on health risk is still inconclusive and more data is needed to better understand the human exposure as well as then to characterise and quantify human health risks.

Even studies, like what the Member has cited, also conclude  that further research has to be done.

So, indeed, MSE and MOH and various relevant agencies are working closely together, to better understand and monitor the impact of such environmental pollutants – microplastics and nanoplastics – on human health, and we will continue, as I have said, to track international studies and research in this area and we are open to considering support for relevant and useful research on this topic.

But having said that, in the meantime, we will continue to look at how we can reduce plastic waste, as well as the amount of plastic debris that gets into the environment and marine waters, through our waste management systems, anti-littering enforcement regime, and getting businesses and individuals to also reduce plastic waste created.

And as an assurance, let me also say that the Public Utilities Board, for instance, has been undertaking biennial surveillance of the presence of microplastics in water from our four National Taps since 2017. As of the latest test results in 2023, we have not detected any microplastics in the treated water and we will continue to monitor developments in this area.

 

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2024公共卫生年,新加坡关注微塑料和纳米塑料问题

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