Article

Effects of Microplastic on Fitness and PCB Bioaccumulation by the Lugworm Arenicola marina (L.)

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Abstract

It has been speculated that marine microplastics may cause negative effects on benthic marine organisms and increase bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Here, we provide the first controlled study of plastic effects on benthic organisms including transfer of POPs. The effects of polystyrene (PS) microplastic on survival, activity, and bodyweight as well as the transfer of 19 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were assessed in bioassays with Arenicola marina (L.). PS was pre-equilibrated in natively contaminated sediment. A positive relation was observed between microplastic concentration in the sediment and both uptake of plastic particles and weight loss by A. marina. Furthermore, a reduction in feeding activity was observed at a PS dose of 7.4% dry weight (DW). A low PS dose of 0.074% increased bioaccumulation of PCBs by a factor 1.1 - 3.6, an effect that was significant for ΣPCBs and several individual congeners. At higher doses, bioaccumulation decreased compared to the low dose, which however, was only significant for PCB105. PS has statistically significant effects on the organisms' fitness and bioaccumulation, but the magnitude of the effects was not high. This may be different for sites with different plastic concentrations, or plastics with a higher affinity for POPs.

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... The environmental impacts of MPs, NPs and plastic additives in aquatic systems have been the object of several studies throughout the last few years including also polychaetes (e.g., Avio et al., 2017;Brandts et al., 2018;Green et al., 2016;Haegerbaeumer et al., 2019;Oliveira et al., 2019;Revel et al., 2018;Soares et al., 2021). Several of these former studies reported their effects on polychaetes performance (e.g., Besseling et al., 2013;Browne et al., 2013;Silva et al., 2020a,b) in which oxidative stress and energy reserves are the most commonly investigated endpoints. ...
... Some of these former studies also demonstrated a systematic impairment in behaviour. Behaviour is considered as a very relevant ecological endpoint, since its alteration at lower levels of biological organization may have an impact on animal's fitness and survival (Besseling et al., 2013;Gebhardt and Forster, 2018;Green et al., 2016;Muller-karanassos et al., 2021;Silva et al., 2020b;Wright et al., 2013). It is already recognized that polychaetes play a key role in their habitat by providing protection, refuge and food to other species, including other marine invertebrates. ...
... They included short and long-term laboratory assays on the impacts of PVC, PS, PP, Antifouling Paint Particles (APPs) and MPs mixtures in different polychaetes being Arenicola marina and Hediste diversicolor the most employed species. The concentrations tested varied from relevant to unrealistic (from 0 to 7.4% dw (Besseling et al., 2013) and 0-2000 part/kg on sediments (Gomiero et al., 2018); 5-1000 part/mL (Leung and Chan, 2018;Setälä et al., 2016) and from 0 to 50 mg/mL at water (Silva et al., 2020b). MPs were evaluated individually, as mixtures and also as mixtures of MPs with other contaminants ( Table 1). ...
Article
Plastic debris are dispersed in the marine environment and are consequently available to many organisms of different trophic levels, including sediment-dwelling organisms such as polychaetae. Plastic degradation generates micro (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) and as well as releases bounded plastic additives, increasing the ecotoxicological risk for marine organisms. Therefore, this review summarizes current knowledge on the accumulation and effects of MPs and NPs and plastic additives in polychaetes, derived from laboratory and field evidences. Thirty-six papers (from January 2010 to September 2021) were selected and analysed: about 80% of the selected works were published since 2016, confirming the emerging role of this topic in environmental sciences. The majority of the analysed manuscripts (68%) were carried out in the laboratory under controlled conditions. These studies showed that polychaetes accumulate and are responsive to this contaminant class, displaying behavioural, physiological, biochemical and immunological alterations. The polychaetes Hesiste diversicolor and Arenicola marina were the most frequent used species to study MPs, NPs and plastic additive effects. The consideration of field studies revealed that MP accumulation was dependent on the plastic type present in the sediments and on the feeding strategy of the species. Since polychaetes are known to play an important role in coastal and estuarine food webs and exposure to MPs, NPs and plastic additives may impair their behavioural, physiological, biochemical and immunological responses. The estimated global increase of these contaminants in the marine environment could affect the health of these benthic organisms, with consequences at population and ecosystem levels.
... Such studies received additional impetus when Arenicola marina (lugworm) upon ingestion of MPs adhered to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) showed a high bioaccumulation of contaminant mixture, decreasing survival rates up to 55%, lowering feeding rates up to 65%, and reducing resilience to fight oxidative stress up to 30% (Browne et al., 2013). Another study corroborated these findings that showed feeding and survival rates of lugworms decreased on ingestion of contaminated MPs (Besseling et al., 2013). It may be noted that lugworms serve as a critical food source for coastal animals such as fish, birds, and other worms (Besseling et al., 2013). ...
... Another study corroborated these findings that showed feeding and survival rates of lugworms decreased on ingestion of contaminated MPs (Besseling et al., 2013). It may be noted that lugworms serve as a critical food source for coastal animals such as fish, birds, and other worms (Besseling et al., 2013). In addition, lugworms increase oxygen, reduce methane levels, and help sand transportation across the beach environment (Timmermann et al., 2006;Volkenborn et al., 2007). ...
... In addition, occupational hazards to industrial workers are very high due to poor infrastructure and lack of safety conditions. (Besseling et al., 2013). Similarly, MPs were found not only to serve as a source of PBDEs but also to be a cause of enhanced bioaccumulation in abdominal J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f adipose tissue in seabirds (Tanaka et al., 2013). ...
Article
The high prevalence and persistence of microplastics (MPs) in pristine habitats along with their accumulation across environmental compartments globally, has become a matter of grave concern. The resilience conferred to MPs using the material engineering approaches for outperforming other materials has become key to the challenge that they now represent. The characteristics that make MPs hazardous are their micro to nano scale dimensions, surface varied wettability and often hydrophobicity leading to non-biodegradability. In addition, MPs exhibit a strong tendency to bind to other contaminants along with the ability to sustain extreme chemical conditions thus increasing their residence time in the environment. Adsorption of these co-contaminants leads to modification in toxicity varying from additive, synergistic, and sometimes antagonistic, having consequences on flora, fauna, and ultimately the end of the food chain, human health. The resulting environmental fate and associated risks of MPs, therefore greatly depend upon their complex interactions with the co-contaminants and the nature of the environment in which they reside. Net outcomes of such complex interactions vary with core characteristics of MPs, the properties of co-contaminants and the abiotic factors, and are required to be better understood to minimize the inherent risks. Toxicity assays addressing these concerns should be ecologically relevant, assessing the impacts at different levels of biological organization to develop an environmental perspective. This review analyzed and evaluated 171 studies to present research status on MP toxicity. This analysis supported the identification and development of research gaps and recommended priority areas of research, accounting for disproportionate risks faced by different countries. An ecological perspective is also developed on the environmental toxicity of contaminated MPs in the light of multi-variant stressors and directions are provided to conduct an ecologically relevant risk assessment. The presented analyses will also serve as a foundation for developing environmentally appropriate remediation methods and evaluation frameworks.
... active), or adsorbed from the surrounding environment (i.e. passive) such as alkylphenols, phthalate esters, halogenated diphenyl ethers, biphenyl, organochlorine pesticides (Besseling et al. 2013;Rochman et al. 2013Rochman et al. , 2014, and heavy metals (Brennecke et al. 2016;Kedzierski et al. 2018;Rochman et al. 2014;Xie et al. 2022) up to several orders of magnitude higher compared to seawater. The ingestion of microplastics can cause a variety of adverse effects ranging from increased mortality (Mazurais et al. 2015), feeding, and fecundity (Yu et al. 2020), clogging/blockage of the digestive tract (de (de Sá et al. 2015), structural and functional intestinal alteration (Pedà et al. 2016), hepatic stress (Rochman et al. 2013), reduction in feeding activity (Besseling et al. 2013;Wright et al. 2013), increased intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species, and changed antioxidant-related gene expression (Choi et al. 2020). ...
... passive) such as alkylphenols, phthalate esters, halogenated diphenyl ethers, biphenyl, organochlorine pesticides (Besseling et al. 2013;Rochman et al. 2013Rochman et al. , 2014, and heavy metals (Brennecke et al. 2016;Kedzierski et al. 2018;Rochman et al. 2014;Xie et al. 2022) up to several orders of magnitude higher compared to seawater. The ingestion of microplastics can cause a variety of adverse effects ranging from increased mortality (Mazurais et al. 2015), feeding, and fecundity (Yu et al. 2020), clogging/blockage of the digestive tract (de (de Sá et al. 2015), structural and functional intestinal alteration (Pedà et al. 2016), hepatic stress (Rochman et al. 2013), reduction in feeding activity (Besseling et al. 2013;Wright et al. 2013), increased intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species, and changed antioxidant-related gene expression (Choi et al. 2020). Additionally, other authors evidenced that MPs could increase the production of reactive oxygen species (Paul-Pont et al. 2016), alter the gametogenesis , delay the development reducing fecundity and retarding moulting (Au et al. 2015;Jeong et al. 2017;Lee et al. 2013), considering also the interactions of plastics with additives , and hindering the swimming activity like for tire wear particles (Yang et al. 2022). ...
Article
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Microplastic debris from direct and indirect human activities is considered a major threat to the marine biodiversity mainly due to its abundance, durability, persistence, and ability to accumulate contaminants from the environment. Derelict tubular plastic nets of various colours (blue (BN), yellow (YN), green (GN), pink (PN), and white (WN) net), used to distinguish mussel farming owners, were collected by scuba-dive from the Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Ionian Sea). All nets were made of polypropylene. Investigations looked for potential acute (mortality) and sub-chronic (mortality, larval development and moult release number, and adult percentage after 5–9 days) effects on Tigriopus fulvus nauplii considering both whole plastics (microplastic (MP), 50 mg/L) and leachates (12.5–100%). Acute test determined a median lethal concentration (LC50) only for BN for both MPs (107 mg/L) and leachates (50.1%). The prolonged exposure (5 days) to microplastics did not affect the T. fulvus survival. After 9 days, YN and BN decreased of approximately 100% larval development. Graphical abstract
... Floating plastics comprise of mastic pellets, docks, bulky nets, and boats that hover over the ocean surface carrying microbes (Carson et al. 2013), algal species, and other macro-organisms (fish and invertebrates) (Goldstein et al. 2014), to non-native areas (Barnes 2002) giving further basis to monitor and take measures to control plastic pollution in oceans . Some filter-feeding species like lungworms (Besseling et al. 2013;Wright et al. 2013b), mussels (von Moos et al. 2012;Avio et al. 2015;Van Cauwenberghe et al. 2015), zooplanktons (Besseling et al. 2014;Cole et al. 2015), and sea cucumbers (Graham and Thompson 2009) are also affected by microplastic accumulation that results in decreased feeding activity (Besseling et al. 2013), reserve depletion (Wright et al. 2013b), translocation of microplastic into the circulatory system (Browne et al. 2008;Avio et al. 2015), and inflammatory responses (von Moos et al. 2012;Avio et al. 2015). Plastic accumulation also results in decrease of survival rate, reproductive disturbance, and fecundity of some marine animals (Besseling et al. 2014;Cole et al. 2015). ...
... Floating plastics comprise of mastic pellets, docks, bulky nets, and boats that hover over the ocean surface carrying microbes (Carson et al. 2013), algal species, and other macro-organisms (fish and invertebrates) (Goldstein et al. 2014), to non-native areas (Barnes 2002) giving further basis to monitor and take measures to control plastic pollution in oceans . Some filter-feeding species like lungworms (Besseling et al. 2013;Wright et al. 2013b), mussels (von Moos et al. 2012;Avio et al. 2015;Van Cauwenberghe et al. 2015), zooplanktons (Besseling et al. 2014;Cole et al. 2015), and sea cucumbers (Graham and Thompson 2009) are also affected by microplastic accumulation that results in decreased feeding activity (Besseling et al. 2013), reserve depletion (Wright et al. 2013b), translocation of microplastic into the circulatory system (Browne et al. 2008;Avio et al. 2015), and inflammatory responses (von Moos et al. 2012;Avio et al. 2015). Plastic accumulation also results in decrease of survival rate, reproductive disturbance, and fecundity of some marine animals (Besseling et al. 2014;Cole et al. 2015). ...
Article
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Plastics have become inevitable for human beings in their daily life. Million tons of plastic waste is entering in oceans, soil, freshwater, and sediments. Invasion of plastics in different ecosystems is causing severe problems to inhabitants. Wild animals such as seabirds, fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates are mostly effected by plastic entanglements and organic pollutants absorbed and carried by plastics/microplastics. Plastics can also be potentially harmful to human beings and other mammals. Keeping in view the possible harms of plastics, some mitigation strategies must be adopted which may include the use of bioplastics and some natural polymers such as squid-ring teeth protein. This review focuses on the possible sources of intrusion and fate of plastics in different ecosystems, their potential deleterious effects on wildlife, and the measures that can be taken to minimize and avoid the plastic use.
... Microplastic exposure caused abnormal embryo development in the brown mussel Perna perna (Gandara E Silva et al., 2016). The lugworm Arenicola marina reduced its feeding rate with increasing microplastic dosage (Besseling et al., 2013). Reduced feeding can be the result of a false sense of fullness, damage or blockages to the digestive tract or confusing microplastics for prey (de Sá et al., 2015). ...
... Microplastics with adsorbed benzo[a]pyrene and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid cause more damage to gill tissues and digestive glands compared to non-contaminated microplastics (O'Donovan et al., 2018). On a cellular level, changes to enzyme activity in gobies have been seen following exposure to the antibiotic cefalexin (Fonte et al., 2016), while microplastic associated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to contribute to effects such as hepatic stress, tissue accumulation of chemicals, reduced feeding activity and increased mortality (Besseling et al., 2013;Rochman et al., 2013;Herzke et al., 2016). Adsorbed chemicals may therefore have contributed to the negative impacts on feeding activity found by the present study. ...
Article
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Marine sediments are a sink for microplastics, making seabed organisms particularly exposed. We used meta-analysis to reveal general patterns in a surge in experimental studies and to test for microplastic impact on biological processes including invertebrate feeding, survival and energetics. Using Hedge's effect size (g), which assesses the mean response of organisms exposed to microplastics compared to control groups, we found negative impacts (significant negative g values) across all life stages (overall effect size (g) = −0.57 95 % CI [−0.76, −0.38]), with embryos most strongly affected (g = −1.47 [−2.21, −0.74]). Six of seven biological process rates were negatively impacted by microplastic exposure, including development, reproduction, growth and feeding. Survival strongly decreased (g = −0.69 [−1.21, −0.17]), likely due to cumulative effects on other processes such as feeding and growth. Among feeding habits, omnivores and deposit feeders were most negatively impacted (g = −0.93 [−1.69, −0.16] and −0.92 [−1.53, −0.31], respectively). The study incorporated the first meta-analysis to contrast the effects of leachates, virgin, aged and contaminated particles. Exposure to leachates had by far the strongest negative effects (g = −0.93 [−1.35, −0.51]), showing studies of contaminants and leachates are critical to future research. Overall, our meta-analysis reveals stronger and more consistent negative impacts of microplastics on seabed invertebrates than recorded for other marine biota. Seabed invertebrates are numerous and diverse, and crucial to bottom-up processes, including nutrient remineralisation, bentho-pelagic coupling and energy transfer through the ocean food web. Marine sediments will store microplastics over long timescales. The reveal that microplastics impinge on multiple fundamental biological processes of seabed fauna implies plastic pollution could have significant and enduring effects on the functioning of the ocean.
... It is in agreement with our results of MPs, but nanoscale microplastics affect the weight change of honeybees. The decrease in body weight was also observed in other species, such as the fruit fly, seabird, lugworm, and soil oligochaete, after MP treatment (Besseling et al., 2013;Horton et al., 2020;Sara et al., 2021;Spear et al., 1995;Zhu et al., 2018). For lugworms, food dilution led to a lower feeding efficiency, and reduced feeding activity directly caused severe weight loss. ...
... The relative organic matter of the sediment decreased 5.3 % owing to the addition of MPs, suggesting that an elevated volume of food source was required for the lugworms to gain the same amount of nutrition. It is evidenced that MPs pollution negatively impacted lugworms' growth by interference with their food availability (Besseling et al., 2013). However, sufficient food was provided to the honeybees in our study, with or without N/MPs exposure, and the food dilution was neglectable. ...
Article
Micro- (MPs) and nano-plastics (NPs) have become emerging pollutants in the environment. Their wide distribution and capacity as a vector of hazardous materials threaten various organisms. Honeybees have been used as bioindicators for pollutants as their gut microbiota offers advantages for addressing how it alters the host health and exploring the processes of environmental pollutants affecting gut community dynamics. In this study, the effects of plastic particles of different sizes on honeybees' health were investigated. Oral exposure to polystyrene (PS) particles with a diameter of 100 nm significantly decreased the whole-body weight and survival rate of honeybees and induced intestinal dysplasia. As the increase of the feeding time from Day 0 to Day 15, the MPs moved to and accumulated in the rectum, where most bee gut symbionts colonized. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation showed that 100-nm PS particles adhered to the germination pore of pollen, while 1- and 10-μm PS particles were attached by gut bacteria. We found that 100-nm PS treatment decreased the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in the guts. Correspondingly, PS treatment stimulated immune inhibitory genes and depressed genes related to detoxification and energy balance. Furthermore, 100-nm PS treated honeybees became more susceptible to the pathogenic Hafnia alvei, leading to a five-times higher mortality rate. These results indicated the adverse impacts of NPs on honeybees, which extends our knowledge regarding the emerging health risks of plastic debris, especially at the nanoscale.
... Le potentiel de toxicité varie avec les propriétés physiques, la composition chimique, la forme et la surface des MP, rendant la question complexe. De plus, leur devenir en cas d'ingestion chez l'homme est encore mal connu, bien que des études de toxicité sur divers modèles animaux aient été menées [VON MOOS et al., 2012 ;BESSELING et al., 2013]. Des effets négatifs ont été démontrés chez des modèles piscicoles tels qu'une hausse de la mortalité, des lésions tissulaires et une hausse du stress oxydatif. ...
... This difference may be associated with MPs exposure duration, short exposure time may increase animals' food intake, while long exposure time could reduce animal appetite. Plastic residues and MPs are difficult to be digested by animals, diluting and limiting the bioavailability of nutrients in food (Besseling et al., 2013), so animals have to intake more food to meet their physiological needs (Lwanga et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Plastic pollution is one of the global pressing environmental problems, threatening the health of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. However, the influence of plastic residues and microplastics (MPs) in soil ecosystems remains unclear. We conducted a global meta-analysis to quantify the effect of plastic residues and MPs on indicators of global soil ecosystem functioning (i.e. soil physicochemical properties, plant and soil animal health, abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms). Concentrations of plastic residues and MPs were 1–2,700 kg ha⁻¹ and 0.01–600,000 mg kg⁻¹, respectively, based on 6,223 observations. Results show that plastic residues and MPs can decrease soil wetting front vertical and horizontal movement, dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen content of soil by 14%, 10%, 9%, and 7%, respectively. Plant height and root biomass were decreased by 13% and 14% in the presence of plastic residues and MPs, while the body mass and reproduction rate of soil animals decreased by 5% and 11%, respectively. However, soil enzyme activity increased by 7%441% in the presence of plastic residues and MPs. For soil microorganisms, plastic residues and MPs can change the abundance of several bacteria phyla and families, but the effects vary between different bacteria.
... Studies on MP ingestion often report varying results however, for example, an exposure trial of MPs in the marine Isopod, Idotea emarginata, showed no negative effects from ingestion of particles (Hämer et al., 2014). Similar findings were observed by Kaposi et al. (2014) on MP ingestion by the Sea Urchin, Tripneustes gratilla, whereas the lugworm (Arenicola marina) was observed to have significant weight loss (Besseling et al., 2013). Moreover, the pacific mole crab, Emerita analoga, a decapod crustacean, showed a higher level of mortality in crabs exposed to MPs than to the non-MP exposed control organisms (Horn et al., 2020). ...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) are an extensive global contaminant in the marine environment, known to be ingested by marine organisms. The presence of MPs in the commercially important marine decapod crustacean Nephrops norvegicus (Dublin Bay Prawn) has been documented for the North-East Atlantic and the Mediterranean, however, uncertainties remain about retention times of MPs in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of this species. This study aims to investigate the retention times of polyester MP fibres of three sizes (3, 5, and 10 mm in length) and to determine whether the egestion of MP fibres is size and time dependent. Results suggest that MP fibres of different lengths are retained for different periods of time, with larger MP fibres being retained for longer periods (e.g., minimum 96 h for 10 mm fibres). The present study also assesses for the first time, the size dependent relationship of MP fibres under controlled conditions for N. norvegicus.
... After entry of microplastics into the surface water, they may subjected to abiotic and biotic influences (Mato, et al., 2001). The organisms are exposed to physical stress and irritation due to uptake of microplastics and the stress level will depends on particle size and shape (Besseling, et al., 2013). The small angular particles are difficult to dislodge which creates blockage of gills and digestive tract of aquatic organism. ...
Chapter
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Healthcare waste includes the waste generated by healthcare facilities, medical laboratories and biomedical research facilities. Improper treatment of this waste stands severe risks of disease transmission to waste pickers, waste workers, health workers, patients, and the community in general through exposure to infectious agents. Poor management of the waste emits destructive and deleterious contaminants into society. The WHO has established guidelines for management of healthcare waste. These guidelines are assisting to manage the highly contagious healthcare waste resulting from the current pandemic. Proper healthcare waste management may add value by lower the spread of the COVID-19 virus and raising the recyclability of materials instead of sending them to landfill. Disinfecting and sorting out healthcare waste facilitate sustainable management and enable their utilization for valuable purposes. This review discusses the various healthcare solid waste management strategies and the possible solutions for overcoming these challenges. It also provides useful knowledge’s into healthcare solid waste management scenarios during the COVID-19 pandemic and a possible way forward.
... Most toxicity studies showed that M/NP adsorption significantly reduced the bioavailability of POPs and adverse effects. Besseling et al. [182] provided the first study of plastic effects on benthic organisms, including the transfer of 19 PCBs in Arenicola marina. PAHs and M/NPs were co-exposed to represent the environmentally relevant exposure scenarios. ...
Article
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As an emerging pollutant in the life cycle of plastic products, micro/nanoplastics (M/NPs) are increasingly being released into the natural environment. Substantial concerns have been raised regarding the environmental and health impacts of M/NPs. Although diverse M/NPs have been detected in natural environment, most of them display two similar features, i.e.,high surface area and strong binding affinity, which enable extensive interactions between M/NPs and surrounding substances. This results in the formation of coronas, including eco-coronas and bio-coronas, on the plastic surface in different media. In real exposure scenarios, corona formation on M/NPs is inevitable and often displays variable and complex structures. The surface coronas have been found to impact the transportation, uptake, distribution, biotransformation and toxicity of particulates. Different from conventional toxins, packages on M/NPs rather than bare particles are more dangerous. We, therefore, recommend seriously consideration of the role of surface coronas in safety assessments. This review summarizes recent progress on the eco–coronas and bio-coronas of M/NPs, and further discusses the analytical methods to interpret corona structures, highlights the impacts of the corona on toxicity and provides future perspectives.
... MPs' properties such as density, shape and size, as well as some external forces (seawater density, seabed topography and pressure, etc.) affect their spread. Studies on the transport and spreading of MPs in water [33] have indicated that the density of plastic particles is a very effective factor. The density of the plastics widely used today varies between 0.85-1.41 ...
... In addition to petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals and organochlorine pollutants have been continuously detected in Corpus Christi and Nueces Bays since 1976 (Custer et al., 1998;Stunz et al., 2022;White et al., 1980), and these pollutants could also be absorbed by nurdles. Once the contaminated nurdles are ingested by marine organisms, the pollutants can be assimilated and accumulated in the organisms (Besseling et al., 2013;Jiang et al., 2019;Ma et al., 2016), and further passed along the food chain to humans through seafood consumption (Smith et al., 2018), thus having detrimental effects to estuary ecosystems and public health. Pollutants on nurdles, including PAHs and PCBs, have been recently documented along the shoreline of Texas coasts (Jiang et al., 2021). ...
Article
Nurdles, also known as plastic resin pellets, are now a major source of plastic pollution on beaches globally, thus it is important to elucidate their weathering patterns and environmental fates as well as the associated pollutants. In this study we collected nurdles from 24 sites in the coastal bend region of south Texas, covering areas from the near shore railway stations to the adjacent bay and barrier island beaches. The morphologies of nurdles and associated pollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury, were investigated. The results showed that the nurdles varied greatly in color, shape, polymer composition, and oxidation degree. More than 80 % of the nurdles were made with polyethylene, and the rest with polypropylene, polyester, polystyrene, polyethylene-vinyl acetate, and polyvinyl chloride based on Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. PCBs were not detected on nurdles. PAHs and Mercury on nurdles were detected at 12 % and 20 % of the sampling sites. The detected total concentrations of PAHs ranged from 92.59 to 1787.23 ng/g-nurdle, and the detected mercury concentrations ranged from 1.23 to 22.25 ng/g-nurdle. Although the concentrations of these pollutants were not at the acute toxic effect level, the presence of PAHs and mercury suggested the potential risk of pollutant exposure to marine organisms in ecosystems, given the fact that nurdles are persistent in the environment.
... So far, there have been many investigations on the impacts of the contaminants held by plastic on organisms, e.g. in ammatory responses, reduced survival, behavioral modifications, weight loss in lugworm (Arenicola marina) were demonstrated as the results of the accumulation of nonylphenol, triclosan, phenanthrene, polybrominated diphenylethers-47, and polystyren in the gut Besseling et al., 2013). Polyethylene terephthalate was showed to cause endocrine disrupting effects and decreased reproductive output in mudsnails (Wagner and Oehlmann, 2009). ...
Chapter
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Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the major cause of global warming and involve�ment in climate change between 1750 and 2007. Concerns about carbon (C) overloading in the atmosphere have sparked international attention in agricul�tural soils’ ability to act as carbon sinks. In India and elsewhere, the effects of improved cropland management practices (when from traditional system to residue return, crop rotation and no-till) on soil C have been indecisive and inconsistent for various extents of management changes and soil depths. Searches of many databases suggest that these enhanced techniques can only store carbon at the soil’s surface (0–10 cm) for a short period of time. (CAB Abstracts, Agricola, Web of Science, Scopus, Natural Resources Index and Agriculture), and by investigating the all references which are cited to extract the published reports/data on the issue. This process has released a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, resulting in poor levels of soil organic carbon storage in agricultural soils, especially in the tropics. With future land use change expected to increase even more, adopting optimal land management techniques to croplands as a potential carbon sink option to store carbon permanently (a century or more) while also improving soil condition and therefore productivity is critical. Based up on the extensive study of published work, this chapter aimed to analyse the consequences of new and sustainable land management options on soil carbon and its sequestration which is considered as a novel strategy and soil stewardship practices to build soil-crop resilience and mitigate climate change impacts with potential to offset carbon dioxide emissions
... Once ingested, MP are distributed and accumulate in various organs such as gills, gut, liver, kidneys (Lu et al., 2016;Deng et al., 2017;Plee and Pomory, 2020), and respiratory structures (Mohsen et al., 2021). This can result in unfavorable health effects that include decreased food intake and reduced growth rate (Besseling et al., 2013), lower fertility (Sussarellu et al., 2016), inflammation (Von Moos et al., 2012), oxidative stress (Lu et al., 2016), and higher immune response (Browne et al., 2008;Canesi et al., 2015;Green, 2016;Rist et al., 2016). Even though ingestion was not observed to be fatal, chronic effects are a critical matter. ...
Article
The accumulation of microplastics in marine organisms is an emerging concern. Due to trophic transfer, the safety of seafood is under investigation in view of the potential negative effects of microplastics on human health. In this study, market samples of Manila clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) from South Korea were segregated into two groups of considerably different size (p < 0.05), namely small clams with shell length of 40.69 ± 3.97 mm, and large clams of shell length 51.19 ± 2.86 mm. Comparative profiling of the number, size, shape, and polymer type of microplastics were performed using μFTIR imaging and Nile red staining. Overall, μFTIR detected only 1559 microplastics while 1996 microplastics were counted based on staining from 61 Manila clams (30 small and 31 large), leading to an overestimation of 18 to 75 %. Comparable microplastics concentration, based on μFTIR, were observed at 2.70 ± 1.66 MP/g or 15.64 ± 9.25 MP/individual for the small samples, and 3.65 ± 1.59 MP/g or 41.63 ± 16.90 MP/individual for the large ones (p > 0.05). Particle diameters of 20–100 μm was the most dominant, accounting for 44.6 % and 46.5 % of all microplastics from the small and large groups, respectively. Particles, with a circularity (resemblance to a circle) value between 0.6 and 1.0, were the most prevalent, followed by fragments and fibers. At least 50 % of microplastics from the small and large samples were polystyrene, making it the most abundant polymer type. Despite the substantial difference in the size of the animals, only a weak to moderate correlation was observed between microplastics content and the physical attributes of the clams such as shell length and weight, (soft) tissue weight, and total weight (Spearman's coefficient < 0.5). The estimated intake of microplastics by the Korean population was 1232 MP/person/year via small clams, 1663 MP/person/year via large clams, and 1489 MP/person/year via clams independent of size.
... Single-use plastic goods like disposable face masks, according to a recent analysis [22], may create a number of problems in our environment. Inhibited photosynthesis [23]; weight loss [24]; decreased filtration [25]; influence on eating and digesting [3,26]; and even death [23]. Microplastic may represent a major hazard to bigger animals or even human health once it enters the food chain [27]. ...
... In our present study, the weight loss of earthworms occurred during the whole exposure period. Exposure to PE MPs alone had adverse effects on the weight of earthworms, with the highest weight loss by 10% PE (10%), which favors the previous conclusions (Besseling et al., 2013;Cao et al., 2017). After prolonged exposure (28 days), the weight loss induced by PE MPs became more significant, indicating a persistent inhibition of MPs. ...
Article
With the increasing release of microplastics (MPs) and nanoparticles (NPs) into the environment, there has been a growing concern about the co-occurrence of these emerging contaminants. However, little is known about the co-contamination effects of MPs and NPs on terrestrial organisms. For the first time, we studied the individual and combined effects of polyethylene (PE) MPs (0, 1%, and 10%, w/w) and ZnO NPs (0, 100, 500, and 1000 mg/kg) on earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Compared to the control, PE MPs or ZnO NPs alone increased the weight loss rate and mortality of earthworms, while the combined exposure of PE MPs and ZnO NPs resulted in higher weight loss rate at the 28th day and lower mortality compared to single application. ZnO NPs greatly increased soil available Zn content, with the highest increments by 1000 mg/kg ZnO NPsat the 28th day. Zn content in earthworms was not affected after 14 days of exposure to ZnO NPs, but showed an increasing trend with increasing ZnO NPs after 28 days of exposure. Co-occurring MPs did not affect soil available Zn content, but changed Zn accumulation in earthworms after 28 days of exposure. The highest Zn content (55.6 mg/kg) was observed in the earthworms under the co-exposure to 1% PE and 1000 mg/kg ZnO NPs. Single exposure to PE MPs or ZnO NPs caused oxidative stress and histopathological damage in the epidermis, intestinal tracts and seminal vesicles. However, co-exposure caused higher CAT and GST activity and MDA content, and more severe histopathological damage, indicating a combined toxicity between them. In conclusion, co-exposure to PE MPs and ZnO NPs caused higher Zn bioaccumulation and more pronounced toxicity response in earthworms, manifesting greater ecological risks. Our findings advance understanding the ecotoxicological risks of co-contamination of MPs and NPs to soil fauna.
... The sorption of PCBs to Nano-PS was 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of PE-MPs because of greater aromaticity and surface area/volume ratio of Nano-PS (Nano-PE was not available, but the relative effect of surface adsorption and volume distribution can still be deduced by comparing Nano-PS and PE-MPs) (Velzeboer et al. 2014). Previous study showed that low doses of PS (0.074%) increased biological accumulation of PCBs with the coefficient of 1.1-3.6, the influence of which was significant for ΣPCBs and a couple of separate homologs; however, at higher doses, biological accumulation reduced when compared with the low dose, but which only PCB105 was significant (Besseling et al. 2013). ...
Article
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As emerging pollutants, direct and indirect adverse impacts of micro(nano)plastics (MPs/NPs) are raising an increasing environmental concern in recent years due to their poor biodegradability and difficulty in recycling. MPs/NPs can act as carriers of bacteria, viruses, or pollutants (such as heavy metals and toxic organic compounds), and may potentially change the toxicity and bioavailability of pollutants. Ingested or attached MPs/NPs can also be transferred from low-trophic level organisms to high-nutrient organisms or even the human body through the food chain transfer process. This article reviews the emerging field of micro- and nanoplastics on organisms, including the separate toxicity and toxicity of compound after the adsorption of organic pollutants or heavy metals, as well as possible mechanism of toxicological effects and evaluate the nano- and microplastics potential adverse effects on human health. The inherent toxic effects MPs/NPs mainly include the following: physical injury, growth performance decrease and behavioral alteration, lipid metabolic disorder, induced gut microbiota dysbiosis and disruption of the gut’s epithelial permeability, neurotoxicity, damage of reproductive system and offspring, oxidative stress, immunotoxicity, etc. Additionally, MPs/NPs may release harmful plastic additives and toxic monomers such as bisphenol A, phthalates, and toluene diisocyanate. The vectors’ effect also points out the potential interaction of MPs/NPs with pollutants such as heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, perfluorinated compounds, pharmaceuticals, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Nevertheless, these potential consequences of MPs/NPs being vectors for contaminants are controversial.
... Due to the current production rate and waste management (i.e., recycling, energy recovery, and landfill), plastic waste generation (approximately 6900 million tons by the year 2015) in the world is tending to increase and is expected to reach 13,000 million tons by the year 2050 (Geyer et al., 2017). Furthermore, there is growing evidence of the ubiquitous distribution of plastic debris, especially microplastics (MPs, particles <5 mm in size) in terrestrial and marine environments (Battulga et al., 2020;Cunningham et al., 2020;Horton et al., 2017) and their interactions with pollutants, such as heavy metals (Massos and Turner, 2017) and persistent organic pollutants (Besseling et al., 2013), as well as their role in the rise of antibiotic resistance genes . Ingestion of plastic particles by a wide range of living organisms, including, but not limited to, zooplankton (Cole et al., 2013), fishes (Peters and Bratton, 2016), turtles (Duncan et al., 2019), and seabirds (Bourdages et al., 2021) raises the level of plastic toxicity in the ecosystem. ...
Article
Plastics are one of the ubiquitous and artificial types of substrates for microbial colonization and biofilm development in the aquatic environment. Characterizing plastic-associated biofilms is key to the better understanding of organic material and mineral cycling in the “Plastisphere”—the thin layer of microbial life on plastics. In this study, we propose a new method to extract biofilms from environmental plastics, in order to evaluate the properties of biofilm-derived organic matter through stable carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) isotope signatures and their interactions with radionuclides especially radiocesium (¹³⁷Cs). The extraction method is simple and cost-effective, requiring only an ultrasonic bath, disposable plastic syringes, and a freeze drier. After ultrasound-assisted separation from the plastics, biofilm samples were successfully collected via a sequence of syringe treatments, with less contamination from plastics and other mineral particles. Effective removal of small microplastics from the experimental suspension was satisfactorily achieved using the method with syringe treatments. Biofilm-derived organic matter samples (14.5–65.4 mg) from four river mouths in Japan showed ¹³⁷Cs activity concentrations of <75 to 820 Bq·kg⁻¹ biofilm (dw), providing evidence that environmental plastics, mediated by developed biofilms, serve as a carrier for ¹³⁷Cs in the coastal riverine environment. Significant differences in the δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N signatures were also obtained for the biofilms, indicating the different sources, pathways, and development processes of biofilms on plastics. We demonstrate here a straightforward method for extracting biofilms from environmental plastics; the results obtained with this method could provide useful insights into the plastic-associated nutrient cycling in the environment.
... Many of them are ingested directly (from the water column or sediment: Cole et al. 2013;de Stephanis et al. 2013) or indirectly (feed organisms that have previously ingested plastics: Rochman et al. 2017;Nelms et al. 2018) by different aquatic organisms. Studies show that ingestion of microplastics can cause reduction of feeding activity in lugworm (Arenicola marina) (Besseling et al. 2013), growth retardation in green alga (Scenedesmus obliquus) (Besseling et al. 2014), neural toxicity in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) (Barboza et al. 2018), oxidative stress in striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus) (Alomar et al. 2017), stresses on fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) (Greven et al. 2016), alteration of shoaling behavior and metabolism in Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) (Mattsson et al. 2015), negative impact on the body condition of a reef fish larvae (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) (Critchell et al. 2018), toxicity in the gametes of oyster (Crassostrea gigas) (González-Fernández et al. 2018), etc. These arrays of research show the various effects of microplastic ingestion on different traits of aquatic species. ...
... Consequently, MPs are ubiquitous in ocean environmental media (Rachel, 2018;Zhao et al., 2018;Zhu et al., 2018;Deanna and Mona, 2019). This leads to the ingestion of MPs by many marine organisms, including plankton (Lima et al., 2014), marine worms (Besseling et al., 2013), sea cucumber (Mohsen et al., 2019), bivalves (Von Moos et al., 2012;Li et al., 2018;Qu et al., 2018;Teng et al., 2019), crab (Zhang et al., 2021), fish Feng et al., 2019;Su et al., 2019), and even sea birds (Provencher et al., 2018). Moreover, MPs have the ability to carry out more toxic matters due to their large specific surface area and are more difficult to remove . ...
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Barnacles and bivalves are two well-known sessile invertebrates that play important roles in marine ecosystems. Microplastic (MP) pollution has attracted widespread attention. Barnacles and wild bivalves are smaller than farmed individuals; thus, they may be more sensitive to MPs. However, less is known about the abundance and spatial distribution of MPs in wild bivalves along with the coastal areas of China. This study evaluates MP pollution in the most abundant bivalves and barnacles (Crassostrea gigas, Ostrea cucullata, Mytilus edulis, and Balanus albicostatus) at five stations in the intertidal zone of the Yellow Sea. B. albicostatus was divided into ecotype A and ecotype B. The abundance of MPs in barnacles, wild bivalves barnacles, and wild bivalves varied from 0 to 2.25 items/individual and 0 to 118.21 items/g. O. cucullata and B. albicostatus (ecotype A) had the highest abundance of MPs, with average abundances of 0.56 ± 0.36 items/individual and 21.59 ± 27.26 items/g, respectively. The types of MPs found in bivalves and barnacles include fibers, fragments, films, and microbeads. The most abundant size was less than 1,000 μm, which accounted for 53% of the total MPs. Cellophane (CP), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were the main polymer types in bivalves and barnacles. This study suggests that the abundance of MPs in wild bivalves is close to that of farmed bivalves with commercial specifications, despite their smaller size. The MP abundance of barnacles in the Yellow Sea is higher than that in other areas in terms of items per gram. In addition, the ecological type may affect the ability of barnacles to accumulate MPs. Ingestion of MPs by barnacles and wild bivalves should be of concern because they may enter the human body through the food web and may pose a potential threat to human health.
... As phagocytic activity is driven by energy, the reduced energy assimilation is probably the underlying cause of the lowered immune capacity at 2.5 μg L − 1 . Indeed, microplastics can physically damage the digestive tract of organisms and undermine its functions, thereby reducing assimilation efficiency (Besseling et al., 2013;Blarer and Burkhardt-Holm, 2016;Gardon et al., 2018). Since the low microplastic concentration used in this study (i.e., 2.5 μg L − 1 ) can already be found in many coastal waters worldwide (Wright et al., 2013;Hamid et al., 2018;Gardon et al., 2020), the immune system of some marine organisms may have been impaired. ...
Article
Ocean acidification may increase the risk of disease outbreaks that would challenge the future persistence of marine organisms if their immune system and capacity to produce vital structures for survival (e.g., byssus threads produced by bivalves) are compromised by acidified seawater. These potential adverse effects may be exacerbated by microplastic pollution, which is forecast to co-occur with ocean acidification in the future. Thus, we evaluated the impact of ocean acidification and microplastics on the health of a common mussel (Mytilus coruscus) by assessing its physiological performance, immunity and byssus properties. We found that ocean acidification and microplastics not only reduced hemocyte concentration and viability due to elevated oxidative stress, but also undermined phagocytic activity of hemocytes due to lowered energy budget of mussels, which was in turn caused by the reduced feeding performance and energy assimilation of mussels. Byssus quality (strength and extensibility) and production were also reduced by ocean acidification and microplastics. To maximize survival with these stressors, the mussels prioritized the synthesis of some byssus proteins (Mfp-4 and Mfp-5) to help maintain adhesion to substrata. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that the future co-occurrence of ocean acidification and microplastic pollution would increase the susceptibility of bivalves to infectious diseases and dislodgement risk, thereby threatening their survival and undermining their ecological contributions to the community.
... Some animals accidentally ingest microplastics, and although most plastics are excreted after ingestion, there is evidence that microplastics can remain in the intestine for a long time (Browne et al. 2008). Studies have shown that the ingestion of microplastics and plastic-derived chemicals (such as plasticizers and other plastic additives) by animals can cause a variety of toxicological effects (Besseling et al. 2013). ...
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Microplastics pollution is becoming a major environmental issue, and exposure to microplastics has been associated with numerous adverse results to both the ecological system and humans. This work summarized the state-of-the-art developments in the breakdown of microplastics, including natural weathering, catalysts-assisted breakdown and biodegradation. Characterization techniques for microplastic breakdown involve scanning electron microscopy, Fourier infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, etc. Bioavailability and adsorption capacity of microplastics may change after they are broken down, therefore leading to variety in microplastics toxicity. Further prospectives for should be focused on the determination and toxicity evaluation of microplastics breakdown products, as well as unraveling uncultivable microplastics degraders via cultivation-independent approaches. This work benefits researchers interested in environmental studies, particularly the removal of microplastics from environmental matrix.
... The impact of macro-and/or microplastics as an emerging threat to crop growth and soil health remains uncertain. The reported negative effects of exposure to macroand/or microplastics include: (1) reducing species and activity of soil microorganisms and animal (Besseling et al., 2013;Machado et al., 2018;Mbachu et al., 2021); (2) damaging soil structure, which can subsequently change the physical and chemical properties of soil (Ji et al., 2021;Qi et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2019); (3) retarding roots and shoots growth and plant development (Jiang et al., 2017;Liu et al., 2014;Machado et al., 2019); and (4) changing the carbon cycling and affecting greenhouse gas emissions (Gong et al., 2015;Kim et al., 2014). Further, microplastics had more negative effects on crop growth than macroplastics implying that sustainable development of agriculture will be severely hindered (Qi et al., 2018). ...
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Pollution caused by macro- and microplastics has become a global concern that is ubiquitous throughout the environment. The reported impacts of macro-and/or microplastics in soil were mixed without uniform conclusions. Here, we quantitatively analyzed the effects of macro-and microplastics on crop growth and soil health using a global meta-analysis, based on 2,226 paired field/ laboratory measurements from 141 papers published in the literature. The results show that the unabated accumulation of macro-and/or microplastics negatively impacts crop growth and soil health. Overall, there were no significant effects on crop-soil properties of macroplastics between 30 and 240 kg/ha excluding soil water infiltration rate, but the crop-soil properties were negatively impacted with time and macroplastics over 240 kg/ha excluding soil olsen-potassium. There were no significant effect on crop-soil animal properties of microplastics between 0.01 and 100 mg/kg excluding weight, but the crop-soil animal properties impacts were negative with time and microplastics over 10,000 mg/kg excluding plant chlorophyll. Using a random forest model (RF) trained with crop/ animal and macro-and/or microplastics factors, we found that the response of crop growth and soil health to macro-and/or microplastics was related to plastic content, plastic type, plastic size and crop/ animal type variables. Altogether, our findings of macro-and microplastics impacts on crop growth and soil health are crucial to policy-making related to agricultural sustainable development under global change.
Article
The ubiquity and detrimental effects of plastics in the environment have become global environmental concerns over the past decade. Intensive anthropogenic activities, such as urbanisation, industrialisation and increasing population density, have resulted in increased plastic pollution in the environment. Recently, nanoplastics have received increased research attention and concern because of their potential adverse effects on marine organisms. However, the potential ecological issues associated with nanoplastics are not yet fully understood because of the insufficient and limited research conducted to date on baseline data, exposure and associated risks for marine organisms. This review highlights an understanding of the nature and characteristics of nanoplastics, as well as the occurrence of nanoplastics in the marine environment. In the future, the effects of nanoplastics on marine organisms may directly or indirectly influence human health. Thus, this review also highlights the effects of nanoplastics on marine organisms. An overview and insights into the occurrence of nanoplastics in marine environments and their potential effects on marine organisms will facilitate the preventative interventions and measures of nanoplastics pollution in the marine environment.
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The aim of this study is to assess the importance of environmental pollution caused by microplastics and their high risks for the organisms living in water and soil ecosystems. Microplastics are one of the emerging contaminants which have been widely spread in soil and aquatic environments. In the last few years, many studies have been focused on their distribution and assessment of their adverse risk to the organisms living in both ecosystems. New methods for the identification of these small particles are also distinguished; however, these techniques are not adequate and sufficient for detection, toxicity, and impacts of their effects on biota. The evidence of large burden of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems has substantially increased. But we are at the beginning of understanding of the potential risk of these materials in soil, where it is still entirely unclear what the size of this problem is. Up to now, little information is present about the effects of these particles on soil organisms. Better understanding to the occurrence, spread, and negative influence of these particles in the ecosystems is needed.
Article
The presence of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems is of increasing global concern. Nano-sized plastics, in particular, can penetrate the cell membrane and cause biological death. Our study evaluated the combined impacts of several polystyrene microspheres’ sizes and nominal concentrations on the overall performance changes of Brachionus plicatilis. Experimental animals were exposed to three microplastic sizes (0.08, 0.5 and 6 µm) and five nominal concentrations (0, 0.5, 2, 8, 32 µg mL−1) for 20 d. Our results showed that the toxicological effect of particle size on rotifers did not significantly depend on the nominal concentration. The interaction between the nominal concentration and size occurred only for body length and lorica width. Specifically, high nominal concentrations of microplastics that were close to nanometer size significantly impaired the overall vitality of rotifers, embodied in shortage of body type, delay in the arrival of maturity, reduction in the cumulative number of neonates, and the advance of the death process. In comparison, fair-sized size (0.5 and 6 µm) displayed non-significant damage except for individual groups. Most notably, the net reproductive yield was only a third of what it was in the original environment, implying that there was not much fertility left. Besides, with the development of rotifers, the adverse effects of polystyrene microsphere drive had become more and more serious.
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Mucin (Mu), a biological substance extracted from jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), was used to reduce the toxic effect of polystyrene nanoplastics (PS-NP) combined with phenanthrene (Phe) in the aquatic environment of zebrafish (Danio rerio), among other aquatic organisms. Mu showed a high binding capacity, as it bound to 92.84% and 92.87% of the PS-NPs (concentration of 2.0 mg/L) after 0.5 h and 8 h, respectively. A zebrafish embryo development test was conducted to check for any reduction in toxicity by Mu. When exposed to PS-NP + Mu and PS-NP + Phe + Mu, respectively, the hatching rates were 88.33 ± 20.21% and 93.33 ± 2.89%, respectively; these results were not significantly different from those of the control group. However, the hatching rate with the addition of Mu increased, compared to that of the PS-NP (71.83 ± 13.36%) and Phe (37.50 ± 19.83%) treatments, and the morphological abnormality rate decreased. The presence of Mu was also found to obstruct the absorption of PS-NP and PS-NP + Phe by the zebrafish. When zebrafish embryos were exposed to PS-NP at a concentration of 5.0 mg/L, the hatching rate differed significantly from that of the control group, and the expression of CAT and p53 genes increased significantly, but the expression of Bcl-2 decreased significantly. An mRNA sequence analysis revealed that the gene expression levels of the test group containing Mu were similar to those of the control group. These results infer that Mu can be used as a biological material to collect and remove PS-NPs from aquatic environments and reduce toxicity.
Article
The use of biodegradable plastics may solve the pollution caused by conventional plastics in the future. However, microplastics and nanoplastics are produced during the aging process of biodegradable plastics. This work evaluated the formation of secondary microplastics and nanoplastics and the effects of aging factors (UV radiation and mechanical forces) during the degradation processes of various biodegradable plastics (poly(butylene adipate co-terephtalate) (PBAT), poly(butylene succinate) (PBS), and polylactic acid (PLA)) and conventional plastics (polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)). This study also assessed the combined toxicity of secondary microplastics and Triclosan (TCS) on Tigriopus japonicas. The results showed that PLA and PBS could produce many microplastics. Most secondary microplastics were smaller than 50 μm. Primary pellets were more likely to generate microplastics through mechanical degradation than via photooxidation. In contrast, PBAT/PLA and PE bags were more likely to form microplastics through photooxidation than mechanical degradation. The secondary microplastics did not affect the survival of T. japonicas and the toxicity of TCS. This study highlights that risk assessment of biodegradable plastics, especially secondary microplastics, and nanoplastics, should be assessed in future studies.
Chapter
An increasing body of evidence exists on the occurrence of (micro)plastics in various environmental compartments including soils, aquatic systems, and as air-borne particulates. (Micro)plastics and their associated chemical additives pose potential environmental and ecological health risks. Information on the environmental and ecological health risks of microplastics remains scattered in several articles, while the few available reviews often focus on one environmental compartment such as soils or aquatic systems. Here, we applied the eco-hierarchical or ecosystem cascade framework to examine the evidence, and present a comprehensive synthesis of the environmental and ecological health risks of microplastics. First, the eco-hierarchical or ecosystemcascade framework and its principles are presented. Second, the impacts of microplastics and their chemical additives on the soil physico-chemical properties and ecological processes, including biogeochemical cycling are discussed. This is then followed by a discussion of the ecological impacts of microplastics on aquatic ecology, including behaviour, physiology, feeding habits, and growth-related parameters. Using the ecohierarchical or ecosystem cascade framework, under-studied aspects of the ecological impacts of microplastics were identified. These include the impacts of microplastics and their chemical additives on: (1) trophic interactions, (2) ecosystem goods, services, and benefits, and (3) interactions of microplastics with other ecological health stressors such as legacy and emerging chemical and biological contaminants such as synthetic chemicals and antibiotic resistance. Lastly, future research directions including several knowledge gaps and the application of emerging research tools are presented.
Article
Many studies have investigated the negative impacts of microplastics on teleost fishes with very little or no evidence of their mechanism of action. This scenario entreats us to investigate the toxicities of nanopolystyrene in zebrafish oocyte with emphasis on the mechanism of action. In the present study, the cellular levels of mRNA transcripts of different genetic markers (such as: sod, gpx, nrf2, inos, ucp2, and atp6 (redox-sensitive markers); nfkβ, tnfα, il-10, ikβ, gdf9, and bmp15 (immune markers); gadd45, rad51, p53 and bcl2 (DNA damage and apoptotic)) have been quantified by real-time PCR after 6 h of incubation of isolated oocyte with different doses of nanopolystyrene viz. P0 (control i.e. no polystyrene in culture medium), P1 (100 ng/ml), and P2 (400 ng/ml). Results showed that both the treatment concentrations of nanopolystyrene induce oxidative stress with % DPPH = 30.75, 31.61, and 32.43% for P0, P1, and P2, respectively. Increase in oxidative stress in oocytes with increasing doses of nanopolystyrene was also observed in TBARS assay with MDA content 0.12 and 0.21 μM for P1 and P2, respectively as compaired to the control 0.08 μM. This increased oxidative stress can regulate the expression pattern (upregulation/downregulation) of selected genes leading to different toxic effects like – oxidative stress, immunotoxicity, and apoptosis in oocytes, which suggests the impairment of reproductive functions by nanopolystyrene.
Chapter
An increasing body of evidence exists on (micro)plastics in various environmental systems. Yet limited comprehensive reviews exist on the human health effects of (micro)plastics and their chemical additives, and the potential human exposure routes in low-income and developed countries. Here, evidence is examined to address three objectives: (1) to summarize the occurrence of (micro)plastics and their additives in environmental media relevant to human exposure, (2) to discuss the multiple human exposure pathways to (micro)plastics and chemical additives, and (3) to discuss potential and confirmed cases of human health risks of (micro)plastics and their additives. Evidence shows that (micro)plastics and their chemical additives occur in various environmental media including soils, aquatic systems, biota, human foods (e.g., fish, honey, table salt), and airborne particulates in occupational and non-occupational settings. This points to the potential transfer of (micro)plastics and chemical additives into the human food chain and the human body. Occupational and nonoccupational human exposure to (micro)plastics and chemical additives occurs through: (1) ingestion of contaminated foods and water, (2) inhalation of air-borne (micro)plastics, and (3) dermal or skin intake (contact exposure). (Micro)plastics pose multiple potential human health risks, including: (1) cell and DNA damage through oxidative stress, (2) inflammation, (3) lung/respiratory disorders, and (4) compromised immunity. Human health risks of chemical additives including endocrine disruptors are also documented. However, besides a few empirical studies, the bulk of the evidence remains largely inferential, and the reasons accounting for this are discussed. Future directions and perspectives on human health risks of MPs are summarized, including: (1) quantitative evidence linking human exposure risks to specific health outcomes, (2) human health risks in low-income countries, (3) human health risks arising from the interactions of (micro)plastics and chemical additives, and other human health stressors, and (4) long-term and inter-generational health risks.
Article
Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs), are collectively referred to as fine plastic particles (FPs), have been reported for both the “vector” effect and “dilution” effect which alters the bioaccumulation of organic contaminants. However, which effect plays a dominant role, especially in terrestrial ecosystems, remains unknown. In the present study, we used ¹⁴C-radioactive labeling tracing technique to assess the sorption of a typical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, phenanthrene on soil particles and FPs, as well as the contribution of vector effects of FPs on the bioaccumulation and distribution of phenanthrene by the geophagous earthworm Metaphire guillelmi. The results showed that the presence of FPs in soil decreased the bioaccumulation of ¹⁴C-Phenanthrene in M. guillelmi by decreasing the bioavailable fraction of phenanthrene in soil, and the decreasing effect was more dramatic for NPs treatments. In all cases, bioaccumulation of ¹⁴C-Phenanthrene in M. guillelmi was still determined by the free concentration of ¹⁴C-Phenanthrene in soil and limited vector effects was observed. Moreover, the different correlation coefficients between the free concentration of ¹⁴C-Phe in two soils and bioaccumulated ¹⁴C-Phenanthrene in earthworms indicated that soil properties remained a dominant factor that determines the bioaccumulation efficiency of ¹⁴C-Phenanthrene in the FPs-soil system. Although the total ¹⁴C-Phenanthrene bioaccumulation in earthworms did not increase, vector effects may be responsible for the increased relative distribution of ¹⁴C-phenanthrene in the organ region, compared with skin and gut regions, leading to unknown risks to organs that are sensitive to these contaminants.
Article
Nowadays, marine ecosystems are under severe threat from the simultaneous presence of multiple stressors, including microplastics (MPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). In addition to their presence in various marine compartments, there are increasing concerns on the potential capacity of MPs to sorb, concentrate and transfer these pollutants in the environment. Although their ecotoxicological impacts are currently evident, few works have studied the combined effects of these contaminants. Therefore, the major purpose of this work was to assess the toxicity of environmental relevant concentrations of MPs (<30 μm) and B[a]P, alone and in mixture, in the seaworm Hediste diversicolor by exploring their accumulation and hazardous biological effects for 3 and 7 days. Environmental MPs were able to increase B[a]P in a time-dependent manner. The obtained results showed that individual treatments, as well as co-exposure to contaminants, caused cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in the cœlomic fluid cells, while oxidative stress effects were observed at tissue and gene levels associated with alteration in neurotransmission. Overall, our findings provide additional clues about MPs as organic pollutant vectors in the marine environment, and contribute to a clearer understanding of their toxicological risk to aquatic invertebrates.
Article
As emerging contaminants, microplastics (MPs) have attracted global attention. They are a potential risk to organisms, ecosystems and human health. MPs are characterized by small particle sizes, weak photodegradability, and are good environmental carriers. They can physically adsorb or chemically react with organic, inorganic and bio-pollutants to generate complex binary pollutants or change the environmental behaviors of these pollutants. We systematically reviewed the following aspects of MPs: (i) Adsorption of heavy metals and organic pollutants by MPs and the key environmental factors affecting adsorption behaviors; (ii) Enrichment and release of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) on MPs and the effects of MPs on ARG migration in the environment; (iii) Formation of “plastisphere” and interactions between MPs and microorganisms; (iv) Ecotoxicological effects of MPs and their co-exposures with other pollutants. Finally, scientific knowledge gaps and future research areas on MPs are summarized, including standardization of study methodologies, ecological effects and human health risks of MPs and their combination with other pollutants.
Article
Microplastics (MPLs) are emerging persistent pollutants affecting drinking water systems, and different studies have reported their presence in tap water. However, most of the work has a focus on particles in the 100-5 µm range. Here, a workflow to identify and quantify polymers of micro and nanoplastics (MNPLs), with sizes from 0.7 to 20 µm in tap water, is presented. The analytical method consisted of water fractionated filtration followed by toluene ultrasonic-assisted extraction and size-exclusion chromatography, using an advanced polymer chromatography column coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry with atmospheric pressure photoionization source with negative and positive ionization conditions (HPLC(APC)-APPI(±)-HRMS) and normal phase chromatography HILIC LUNA® column and electrospray ionisation source in positive and negative mode (HPLC(HILIC)-ESI(±)-HRMS). The acquisition was performed in full scan mode, and the subsequent tentative identification of MNPLs polymers has been based on increasing the confirmation level, including the characterisation of monomers by using Kendrick Mass Defect (KMD) analysis, and confirmation and quantification using standards. This approach was applied to assess MNPLs in tap water samples of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (BMA), that were collected from August to October 2020 from home taps of volunteers distributed in the 42 postal codes of the BMA. Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyisoprene (PI), polybutadiene (PBD), polystyrene (PS), polyamide (PA), and polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS) were identified. PE, PP, and PA were the most highly detected polymers, and PI and PBD were found at the highest concentrations (9 and 1.9 µg/L, respectively). A principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted to assess differences in MNPLs occurrence in drinking water, that was provided from the two drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) suppliers. Results showed that no significant differences (at 95 % confidence level) were established between the drinking water supplies to the different areas of the BMA.
Article
Microplastics (MPs) tend to accumulate in marine sediments thus benthic fauna is particularly vulnerable to microplastic pollution. Hediste diversicolor is a widespread species in coastal marine sediments. It plays key ecological functions mostly related to bioturbation process which means sediment reworking due to the worm burrowing activity and building a network of galleries. Herein, we show that commercial plastic microspheres of two sizes (63–75 and 300–355 μm) have the potential to cause neurotoxicity in H. diversicolor. The whole-body acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity – a common indicator of neurotoxic effect - was on average 60% lower in polychaetes exposed for 28 days to MPs served at environmentally relevant concentrations (0.08% sediment d. wt.), than in unexposed ones. Significantly reduced activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GST) indicated suppression of the cellular antioxidative system in worms exposed to MPs. No changes were, however, observed in tGSH, lipid or protein oxidation measures (CBO, MDA), and in the energetic value of these polychaetes. The response was generally similar with no regard to MPs size. Only very few microspheres were found in polychaetes exposed to MPs spiked sediment. The potential role of MPs-associated pollutants as a factor responsible for observed biochemical effects, is discussed.
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Over recent years, awareness of the ecological consequences of marine plastic debris has increased considerably. This chapter focuses on the ingestion of plastics. It defines harm within the ecotoxicological context of impacts on organisms and ecosystems. Owing to the small size of microplastics and their near ubiquitous presence throughout the marine environment, concern for marine life arises from their ingestion. The result of the microplastic exposure can lead to effects at different levels of biological functioning, including those on the individual, at site‐specific target organs, on certain cell types, and even subcellular effects. To date, few studies have quantified the effects of microplastic pollution on ecosystem functioning. During production, chemicals are added to plastics to alter or improve their desired properties, such as plasticizers, flame‐retardants, antimicrobial agents, or UV inhibitors. These additive chemicals can subsequently leach from the plastic into the environment or, if ingested, into organisms.
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Microplastics (MPs) have become a major concern as it has emerged to become a trending pollutant, negatively affecting the aquatic environment. It has become a huge challenge, having the capacity to biomagnify and eventually affect human health, biodiversity, aquatic animals, and indeed the environment. This review provides in-depth knowledge of how MPs interact with different toxic organic chemicals, antibiotics, and heavy metals in the aquatic environment and its consequences. Membrane technologies like ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), microfiltration (MF), and dynamic membranes can be highly effective techniques for the removal of MPs. Along with that, hybrid membrane techniques like advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), membrane fouling, electrochemical processes, and adsorption processes for superior efficiency can be incorporated. The review also focuses on the reactor design and performance of several membrane-based filters and bioreactors, to develop effective, feasible, and sustainable membrane technologies. The main aim of this work is to throw light on the alarming scenario of microplastic pollution in the aquatic milieu and strategies that can be adopted to tackle it.
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Plastics are a group of synthetic materials made of organic polymers and some additives with special characteristics. Plastics have become part of our daily life due to their many applications and uses. However, inappropriately managed plastic waste has raised concern regarding their ecotoxicological and human health risks in the long term. Due to the non-biodegradable nature of plastics, their waste may take several thousands of years to partially degrade in natural environments. Plastic fragments/particles can be very minute in size and are mistaken easily for prey or food by aquatic organisms (e.g., invertebrates, fishes). The surface properties of plastic particles, including large surface area, functional groups, surface topography, point zero charge, influence the sorption of various contaminants, including heavy metals, oil spills, PAHs, PCBs and DDT. Despite the fact that the number of studies on the biological effects of plastic particles on biota and humans has been increasing in recent years, studies on mixtures of plastics and other chemical contaminants in the aquatic environment are still limited. This review aims to gather information about the main characteristics of plastic particles that allow different types of contaminants to adsorb on their surfaces, the consequences of this adsorption, and the interactions of plastic particles with aquatic biota. Additionally, some missing links and potential solutions are presented to boost more research on this topic and achieve a holistic view on the effects of micro- and nanoplastics to biological systems in aquatic environments. It is urgent to implement measures to deal with plastic pollution that include improving waste management, monitoring key plastic particles, their hotspots, and developing their assessment techniques, using alternative products, determining concentrations of micro- and nanoplastics and the contaminants in freshwater and marine food-species consumed by humans, applying clean-up and remediation strategies, and biodegradation strategies.
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Microplastic debris is a persistent, ubiquitous global pollutant in oceans, estuaries, and freshwater systems. Some of the highest reported concentrations of microplastics, globally, are in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), which is home to the majority of plastic manufacturers in the United States. A comprehensive understanding of the risk microplastics pose to wildlife is critical to the development of scientifically sound mitigation and policy initiatives. In this review, we synthesize existing knowledge of microplastic debris in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects on birds and make recommendations for further research. The current state of knowledge suggests that microplastics are widespread in the marine environment, come from known sources, and have the potential to be a major ecotoxicological concern for wild birds, especially in areas of high concentration such as the GoM. However, data for GoM birds are currently lacking regarding typical microplastic ingestion rates uptake of chemicals associated with plastics by avian tissues; and physiological, behavioral, and fitness consequences of microplastic ingestion. Filling these knowledge gaps is essential to understand the hazard microplastics pose to wild birds, and to the creation of effective policy actions and widespread mitigation measures to curb this emerging threat to wildlife.
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Our oceans and seas have been polluted with plastics for nearly 60 years. The increase in plastic consumption all over the world, the possibility of plastics remaining in the environment for hundreds of years without decomposing, the decomposition of plastics into smaller pieces, the detection of organisms at all levels of the marine food chain, and the possibility of human exposure to microplastics through food increase the awareness on this issue day by day. With the introduction of microplastics and nanoplastics, scientists have started to work on this pollution in water, especially since 2010. The common view is that the impact of this type of pollution on the environment will increase and harm living things.
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Aquaculture is the most rapidly growing branch of animal production. The efficiency and quality of the produced food depends on sustainable management, water quality, feed prices and the incidence of diseases. Micro-(MP < 5 mm) and nanoplastic (NP < 1000 nm) particles are among the current factors causing serious water pollution. This substance comes solely from products manufactured by humans. MP particles migrate from the terrestrial to the aquatic environment and adversely affect, especially, the health of animals and humans by being a favorable habitat and vector for microbial pathogens and opportunists. More than 30 taxa of pathogens of humans, aquacutural animals and plants, along with opportunistic bacteria, have been detected in plastic-covering bio-film to date. The mobility and durability of the substance, combined with the relatively closed conditions in aquacultural habitats and pathogens' affinity to the material, make plastic particles a mi-crobiological medium threatening the industry of aquaculture. For this reason, in addition to the fact of plastic accumulation in living organisms, urgent measures should be taken to reduce its influx into the environment. The phenomenon and its implications are related to the concept of one health, wherein the environment, animals and humans affect each other's fitness.
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Microplastics (MPs), widely present in aquatic ecosystems, can be ingested by numerous organisms, but their toxicity remains poorly understood. Toxicity of environmental MPs from 2 beaches located on the Guadeloupe archipelago, Marie Galante (MG) and Petit-Bourg (PB) located near the North Atlantic gyre, was evaluated. A first experiment consisted in exposing early life stages of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to MPs at 1 or 10 mg/L. The exposure of early life stages to particles in water induced no toxic effects except a decrease in larval swimming activity for both MPs exposures (MG or PB). Then, a second experiment was performed as a chronic feeding exposure over 4 months, using a freshwater fish species, zebrafish, and a marine fish species, marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma). Fish were fed with food supplemented with environmentally relevant concentrations (1% wet weight of MPs in food) of environmental MPs from both sites. Chronic feeding exposure led to growth alterations in both species exposed to either MG or PB MPs but were more pronounced in marine medaka. Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities were only altered for marine medaka. Reproductive outputs were modified following PB exposure with a 70 and 42% decrease for zebrafish and marine medaka, respectively. Offspring of both species (F1 generation) were reared to evaluate toxicity following parental exposure on unexposed larvae. For zebrafish offspring, it revealed premature mortality after parental MG exposure and parental PB exposure produced behavioural disruptions with hyperactivity of F1 unexposed larvae. This was not observed in marine medaka offspring. This study highlights the ecotoxicological consequences of short and long-term exposures to environmental microplastics relevant to coastal marine areas, which represent essential habitats for a wide range of aquatic organisms.
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Waste generated from plastics is widely distributed across the world, impacting both land and aquatic ecosystems, and is thus becoming a serious environmental concern. Over the past few decades, there has been tremendous concern related to the abundance and effects of plastic wastes in freshwater ecosystems, globally. The abundance of microplastics in fresh water also poses direct threat to urban water quality. Since the 1950s, approximately 1 billion tons of plastic have been disposed of and currently about 280 million tons of plastic are generated every year, of which more than 10% eventually enters the aquatic ecosystems. The plastic has become a topic of focus for the scientific community because of its ability to persist in the environment for a longer period, which helps it to distribute widely from their source and accumulate in the aquatic ecosystems. Synthetic polymers such as fragments, fiber, pellet, film, bead, or foam ranging from 100 μm to 5 mm in size are called microplastics (MPs). The microplastics are formed via mechanical/biological fragmentation of larger plastic debris. The main cause of MPs in the global waters can be attributed to the mismanagement of wastes generated by solid and liquid products. Consequently, microplastics become ubiquitously available in aquatic ecosystems, and inflict physical damage and compromise feeding behavior of aquatic biota. Thus, it has become highly desirable to comprehend the techniques that are largely used for the quantitative and qualitative assessment of these polymeric contaminants in aquatic environments. This chapter aims to provide a thorough and systematic compilation of various sampling and related analytical techniques for the assessment of microplastics in various water systems.
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As microplastics and nanoplastics (MNPs) are widely distributed in the environment and can be transferred to human body through food chain, their potential impact on human health is of great concern. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is persistent, bioaccumulative and can be adsorbed by MNPs. However, there are few studies on the combined human health effects of MNPs with PFOS. In this study, the effects of polystyrene (PS) particles and PFOS on human colon adenocarcinoma cell Caco-2 were investigated in vitro to explore the combined toxicity from cellular level, and the toxic mechanism was further illustrated. Results showed that the presence of PFOS significantly increased the cell uptake of PS nanoparticles by >30 %, which is related to variations of the surface properties of PS particles, including the decrease of hydration kinetic diameter, the rise of surface potential and the adsorption of hydrophobic PFOS molecules. The toxic effect of PFOS was weakened in the presence of PS nanoparticles under low PFOS concentration (10 μg/mL), which is because the bioavailability of PFOS was reduced after adsorption. PS particles with small particle size (20 nm) showed higher cell uptake and ROS production, while PS particles with large particle size (1 μm) led to higher lipid oxidation degree and related membrane damage as well as mitochondrial stress. This study provides the first evaluation of combined toxicity of MNPs and PFOS on human intestinal cells, in order to support the risk assessment of combined pollution of MNPs and PFOS on human health.
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Plastics are materials composed of polymers, defined as repeating chains of molecules that can be easily processed and shaped. Common plastics are obtained from fossil fuels, such as crude oil and natural gas, and are nowadays the main materials of most consumer goods. The many uses of plastics prompted an ever-increasing production that is now abundantly beyond 300 million tons per year. This massive production made plastics ubiquitous in the environment, especially in marine ecosystems that act as the final sink for most land-based plastic litter. Marine plastic pollution is made even worse by microplastics, whose harmful impact affects the geochemistry, biology, and ecology of all oceans and seas. The effects of marine plastic litter are recognized as a global issue, and important signals to fight this phenomenon come from the main stakeholders such as scientific community with intense research, policy-makers with measures to support a circular plastics economy, the third sector trying to improve their green image, as well as ordinary citizens more and more aware of the sea conditions.
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Plastic debris causes extensive damage to the marine environment, largely due to its ability to resist degradation. Attachment on plastic surfaces is a key initiation process for their degradation. The tendency of environmental marine bacteria to adhere to poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) plastic surfaces as a model material was investigated. It was found that the overall number of heterotrophic bacteria in a sample of sea water taken from St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Australia, was significantly reduced after six months from 4.2-4.7×10(3) cfu mL(-1) to below detectable levels on both full-strength and oligotrophic marine agar plates. The extinction of oligotrophs after six months was detected in all samples. In contrast, the overall bacterial number recovered on full strength marine agar from the sample flasks with PET did not dramatically reduce. Heterotrophic bacteria recovered on full-strength marine agar plates six months after the commencement of the experiment were found to have suitable metabolic activity to survive in sea water while attaching to the PET plastic surface followed by the commencement of biofilm formation.
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Assessing the hazard posed by sediments contaminated with hydrophobic organic compounds is difficult, because measuring the freely dissolved porewater concentrations of such low-solubility chemicals can be challenging, and estimating their sediment-water partition coefficients remains quite uncertain. We suggest that more accurate site assessments can be achieved by employing sampling devices in which polymers, with known polymer-water partition coefficients, are used to absorb the contaminants from the sediment. To demonstrate the current accuracy and limitations of this approach, we compared use of three polymers, polydimethylsiloxane, polyoxymethylene, and polyethylene, exposed to a single sediment in two modes, one in which they were exhaustively mixed (tumbled) with the sediment and the other in which they were simply inserted into a static bed (passive). Comparing porewater concentrations of specific polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners with results obtained using air bridges, we found the results for tumbled polymers agreed within 20%, and the passive sampling agreed within a factor of 2. In contrast, porewater estimates based on sediment concentrations normalized to f(OC)K(OC), the weight fraction of organic carbon times the organic-carbon normalized partition coefficient, averaged a factor of 7 too high. We also found good correlations of each polymer's uptake of the PCBs with bioaccumulation by the polychaete, Neanthes arenaceodentata. Future improvements of the passive sampling mode will require devices that equilibrate faster and/or have some means such as performance reference compounds to estimate mass transfer limitations for individual deployments.
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Plastics debris in the marine environment, including resin pellets, fragments and microscopic plastic fragments, contain organic contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides (2,2'-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane, hexachlorinated hexanes), polybrominated diphenylethers, alkylphenols and bisphenol A, at concentrations from sub ng g(-1) to microg g(-1). Some of these compounds are added during plastics manufacture, while others adsorb from the surrounding seawater. Concentrations of hydrophobic contaminants adsorbed on plastics showed distinct spatial variations reflecting global pollution patterns. Model calculations and experimental observations consistently show that polyethylene accumulates more organic contaminants than other plastics such as polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride. Both a mathematical model using equilibrium partitioning and experimental data have demonstrated the transfer of contaminants from plastic to organisms. A feeding experiment indicated that PCBs could transfer from contaminated plastics to streaked shearwater chicks. Plasticizers, other plastics additives and constitutional monomers also present potential threats in terrestrial environments because they can leach from waste disposal sites into groundwater and/or surface waters. Leaching and degradation of plasticizers and polymers are complex phenomena dependent on environmental conditions in the landfill and the chemical properties of each additive. Bisphenol A concentrations in leachates from municipal waste disposal sites in tropical Asia ranged from sub microg l(-1) to mg l(-1) and were correlated with the level of economic development.
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One of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet is the accumulation and fragmentation of plastics. Within just a few decades since mass production of plastic products commenced in the 1950s, plastic debris has accumulated in terrestrial environments, in the open ocean, on shorelines of even the most remote islands and in the deep sea. Annual clean-up operations, costing millions of pounds sterling, are now organized in many countries and on every continent. Here we document global plastics production and the accumulation of plastic waste. While plastics typically constitute approximately 10 per cent of discarded waste, they represent a much greater proportion of the debris accumulating on shorelines. Mega- and macro-plastics have accumulated in the highest densities in the Northern Hemisphere, adjacent to urban centres, in enclosed seas and at water convergences (fronts). We report lower densities on remote island shores, on the continental shelf seabed and the lowest densities (but still a documented presence) in the deep sea and Southern Ocean. The longevity of plastic is estimated to be hundreds to thousands of years, but is likely to be far longer in deep sea and non-surface polar environments. Plastic debris poses considerable threat by choking and starving wildlife, distributing non-native and potentially harmful organisms, absorbing toxic chemicals and degrading to micro-plastics that may subsequently be ingested. Well-established annual surveys on coasts and at sea have shown that trends in mega- and macro-plastic accumulation rates are no longer uniformly increasing: rather stable, increasing and decreasing trends have all been reported. The average size of plastic particles in the environment seems to be decreasing, and the abundance and global distribution of micro-plastic fragments have increased over the last few decades. However, the environmental consequences of such microscopic debris are still poorly understood.
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The Procellariiformes are the birds most affected by plastic pollution. Plastic fragments and pellets were the most frequent items found in the digestive tract of eight species of Procellariiformes incidentally caught by longline fisheries as well as beached birds in Southern Brazil. Plastic objects were found in 62% of the petrels and 12% of the albatrosses. The Great shearwater, Manx shearwater, Cory's shearwater and Antarctic fulmar were found to have greater quantities and frequencies of occurrence of plastic. There was no significant difference in the number of plastics between the birds from longline fisheries and beached birds. No correlation was found between the number of prey and number of plastics in the digestive tract of the birds analyzed, but this does not discard the hypothesis that, in some cases, the presence of plastic in the digestive tract has a negative effect on the feeding efficiency of these birds.
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Plastics debris is accumulating in the environment and is fragmenting into smaller pieces; as it does, the potential for ingestion by animals increases. The consequences of macroplastic debris for wildlife are well documented, however the impacts of microplastic (< 1 mm) are poorly understood. The mussel, Mytilus edulis, was used to investigate ingestion, translocation, and accumulation of this debris. Initial experiments showed that upon ingestion, microplastic accumulated in the gut. Mussels were subsequently exposed to treatments containing seawater and microplastic (3.0 or 9.6 microm). After transfer to clean conditions, microplastic was tracked in the hemolymph. Particles translocated from the gut to the circulatory system within 3 days and persisted for over 48 days. Abundance of microplastic was greatest after 12 days and declined thereafter. Smaller particles were more abundant than larger particles and our data indicate as plastic fragments into smaller particles, the potential for accumulation in the tissues of an organism increases. The short-term pulse exposure used here did not result in significant biological effects. However, plastics are exceedingly durable and so further work using a wider range of organisms, polymers, and periods of exposure will be required to establish the biological consequences of this debris.
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Millions of metric tons of plastic are produced annually. Countless large items of plastic debris are accumulating in marine habitats worldwide and may persist for centuries ([ 1 ][1]–[ 4 ][2]). Here we show that microscopic plastic fragments and fibers ([Fig. 1A][3]) are also widespread in the
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Thermoplastic resin pellets are melted and formed into an enormous number of inexpensive consumer goods, many of which are discarded after a relatively short period of use, dropped haphazardly onto watersheds and then make their way to the ocean where some get ingested by marine life. In 2003 and 2004 pre-production thermoplastic resin pellets and post-consumer plastic fragments were collected and analyzed for contamination for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Samples were taken from the North Pacific Gyre, and selected sites in California, Hawaii, and from Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The total concentration of PCBs ranged from 27 to 980 ng/g; DDTs from 22 to 7100 ng/g and PAHs from 39 to 1200 ng/g, and aliphatic hydrocarbons from 1.1 to 8600 microg/g. Analytical methods were developed to extract, concentrate and identify POPs that may have accumulated on plastic fragments and plastic pellets. The results of this study confirm that plastic debris is a trap for POPs.
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The purpose of this study was to provide data to be used in The Netherlands for development of ecotoxicologically based quality criteria for oil-contaminated sediments and dredged material. In addition, the relation of toxicity to specific oil boiling-point fraction ranges was explored. Natural marine sediment, with a moisture, organic carbon, and silt content of approximately 80, 1.8, and 33% of the dry weight, respectively, was artificially spiked using a spiking method developed in this project. Aliquots of one part of the sediment were spiked to several concentrations of Gulf distillate marine grade A (DMA) gasoil (containing 64% C10-19) and aliquots of the other part to several concentrations of Gulf high viscosity grade 46(HV 46) hydraulic oil (containing 99.2% C19-40). Thus, for each individual oil type, a concentration series was created. Vibrio fischeri (endpoint: bioluminescence inhibition), Corophium volutator (endpoint: mortality), and Echinocardium cordatum (endpoint: mortality) were exposed to these spiked sediments for 10 min, 10 d and 14 d, respectively. Based on the test results, the effective concentration on 50% of the test animals was statistically estimated. For DMA gasoil and HV46 hydraulic oil, respectively, the effective concentrations were 43.7 and 2,682 mg/kg dry weight for V. fischeri, 100 and 9,138 mg/kg dry weight for C. voluntator, 190, and 1064 dry weight for E. cordatum. This study shows that the toxicity is strongly correlated with the lower boiling-point fractions and especially to those within the C10-C19 range.
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Sediment-quality guidelines (SQGs) have been published for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) using both empirical and theoretical approaches. Empirically based guidelines have been developed using the screening-level concentration, effects range, effects level, and apparent effects threshold approaches. Theoretically based guidelines have been developed using the equilibrium-partitioning approach. Empirically-based guidelines were classified into three general categories, in accordance with their original narrative intents, and used to develop three consensus-based sediment effect concentrations (SECs) for total PCBs (tPCBs), including a threshold effect concentration, a midrange effect concentration, and an extreme effect concentration. Consensus-based SECs were derived because they estimate the central tendency of the published SQGs and, thus, reconcile the guidance values that have been derived using various approaches. Initially, consensus-based SECs for tPCBs were developed separately for freshwater sediments and for marine and estuarine sediments. Because the respective SECs were statistically similar, the underlying SQGs were subsequently merged and used to formulate more generally applicable SECs. The three consensus-based SECs were then evaluated for reliability using matching sediment chemistry and toxicity data from field studies, dose-response data from spiked-sediment toxicity tests, and SQGs derived from the equilibrium-partitioning approach. The results of this evaluation demonstrated that the consensus-based SECs can accurately predict both the presence and absence of toxicity in field- collected sediments. Importantly, the incidence of toxicity increases incrementally with increasing concentrations of tPCBs. Moreover, the consensus-based SECs are comparable to the chronic toxicity thresholds that have been estimated from dose-response data and equilibrium-partitioning models. Therefore, consensus-based SECs provide a unifying synthesis of existing SQGs, reflect causal rather than correlative effects, and accurately predict sediment toxicity in PCB-contaminated sediments.
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During a 4 month period in 1975, faeces production, growth, biomass, maturation and mortality were studied in juvenile lugworms, Arenicola marina, reared in the laboratory at 5 experimental temperatures under restricted and subsidized feeding conditions. Faeces production and hence food uptake is dependent on the food content of the sediment. In poor sediments a smaller and less frequent faeces production was measured. Therefore, the estimate of the size of lugworm populations by counting cast numbers is subject to a considerable bias. With favourable food conditions even in dense worm populations a rapid and almost linear length growth from 11 to about 80 mm and an increase in weight from 3.5 to about 200 mg (ash-free dry weight) was measured. The growth resulted in biomass values as high as 200 g (ADW) ·m-2 or more, values never found in the Wadden Sea. Restricted feeding conditions caused stagnancy of growth and increased mortality. Retarded growth, as observed in natural populations of O-group worms on the extensive mud flats as well as on special "nursery" flats is attributed to an insufficient food supply on these flats, though these are characterized by a high input of primary organic matter, locally produced as well as imported from the adjacent North Sea. Over a wide range (5° to 20° C), the influence of temperature on growth was found to be relatively small. At 25° C, however, growth was retarded.
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Domestic chickens Gallus domesticus were fed polyethylene pellets to test whether ingested plastic impairs feeding activity. When food was temporally limited, plastic-loaded birds ate less than control birds, apparently as a result of reduced gizzard volume. When given food ad libitum, plastic-loaded birds also ate less and grew slower than did control birds. It is concluded that ingested plastic reduces meal size and thus food consumption when plastic reduces the storage volume of the stomach. This reduced food consumption may limit the ability of seabirds with large plastic loads to lay down fat deposits, and thus reduce fitness.
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The incidence of plastic in seabirds was studied (number of individuals of a species containing plastic per number inspected, and number of particles per individual), in 1574 individuals representing 36 species of seabirds collected in the tropical Pacific, mostly between 110 and 150 ° W longitude, from 1984 to 1991. Incidence of plastic was lower in resident species compared to those which bred to the south or north but wintered in the region, and especially when compared to species that crossed the tropics in migration between the South and North Pacific. Seasonal and age-related patterns in incidence of plastic, number of particles, and particle type (pellets versus user-plastic) among a group of five Procellariiform species (each with >5% of the individuals containing plastic and for which samples were >20 birds) indicated that degradation for an individual particle in the gizzard required less than one year, and that little plastic was regurgitated by parents to chicks. Two patterns emerged from this data regarding body weight: (i) heavier birds (for a given species, age-class, season and year) were more likely to contain at least some plastic, from which we hypothesize that birds in better physical condition fed more often in areas where higher densities of plastic and food are found, such as fronts and convergences; and (ii) among individuals who contained plastic (grouped by species), there was a significant negative correlation between number of plastic particles and body weight. This is the first solid evidence for a negative relationship between plastic ingestion and physical condition in seabirds. The likelihood that higher quality individuals are more prone to ingestplastic has serious implications regarding health of some seabird populations.
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Macrofauna benthos has been sampled frequently during 6 years at 3 intertidal stations on a tidal flat area in the westernmost part of the Wadden Sea. Biomass, expressed as ash-free dry weight, fluctuated with a regular annual pattern. Maximal amounts were observed every year at each station during the July–September periods, minimal amounts during the December–March periods. The steep increases during spring were for the greater part due to fast growth of animals already present in winter. Spat fall generally contributed only a minor part to the annual biomass increases. The declines during autumn were attributable both to decreases in numbers and to individual weight losses. The latter dominated in the big and deep-living specimen of 2 species (Mya arenaria and Arenicola marina) which comprised about half of the total biomass of the benthos.Among the predators feeding on the benthos at the tidal flats, fish, just as the shell-fish, are most numerous during summer, but monthly numbers of birds are unrelated to seasonal changes in availability of food.
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lying in close contact with the skull between the otic process of the quadrate and the orbital ridge. A diagram of the arterial RMO for six species of Hawaiian seabirds is presented in Fig. 1. The RMO is composed of an arterial rete supplied by the external ophthalmic branch of the common carotid and a medial venous rete composed of branches of ophthalmic veins supplying venous blood to the cavernous sinus. The external ophthalmic artery crosses the middle ear in a canal dorsomedial to the oval window and emerges to subdivide into four rami: temporal, supraorbital, ophthalmic, and infraorbital. All rami and the inferior alveolar artery contribute vessels to the arterial component of the RMO. The common carotid arterial supply to the RMO is derived from a unique intercarotid anastomosis characteristic of avian species (Baumel and Gerchman 1968). Two of the three principal patterns de- scribed by Baumel and Gerchman were observed (Table 1). The functional differences in the patterns of intercarotid anastomosis are not clear, but they may reflect differences in the amount of blood available for circulation to the RMO. Birds do not possess a cerebral arterial circle of Willis comparable to mammals, but the intercarotid anastomosis may serve as an effective substitute with the potential for shunting blood from one side to the other. The existence of common morphologies for the RMO of these Hawaiian seabirds suggests that counter- current heat exchange is the common underlying mechanism for cooling the brain, as it is in most arian species. The advantages of tolerating an increase in body temperature while maintaining brain temper- ature below body temperature enhances a bird's tolerance of environmental heat stress. These advan- tages have been stated previously (Kilgore et al. 1976). In addition, the advantage of protecting brain tissue from thermal extremes during heat-stress associated with flight (Bernstein et al. 1979b) must be considerable for pelagic, migratory species. Based on morphology alone, the effectiveness of heat exchange
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The thermal stability and degradation behavior of polyethylene (PE) particles having a diameter varies from few nanometers to micrometers were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The PE particles of average diameter ∼20, ∼10, ∼1 μm and <500 nm were studied over a range of temperatures from 25 to 600 °C in N2 atmosphere and heating rates of 5, 10 and 15 °C min−1. The three single heating-rate techniques such as Friedman, Freeman–Carroll, and second Kissinger; and three multiple heating-rate techniques such as the first Kissinger, Kim–Park and Flynn–Wall were used to work out the kinetic parameters of the degradation reactions, e.g., activation energy (Ea), order of reaction (n) and frequency factor [ln(Z)]. The lifetime of macro, micro and nanosized PE particles were also estimated by a method proposed by Toop. It was found that the activation energy and lifetime of nanosized PE nanoparticles were moderately high compared to the micron sized PE particles. Moreover, the decomposition temperature, order of reaction (n), frequency factor [ln(Z)] do not only depend on heating rates and calculation techniques, but also on particle size of the PE. The results obtained from the kinetic and lifetime studies for nano and micro sized particles were compared with macro sized PE.
Article
Pollutants in aged field sediments seem to differ from spiked sediments in their chemical and biological availability. Biphasic desorption is often used as an explanation. In the present study, desorption kinetics and partitioning of chlorobenzenes (CBs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in long term field contaminated sediment cores and top layer sediment were measured by gas-purging. Desorption from sediment was deduced to be triphasic:  fast, slowly, and very slowly desorbing fractions were distinguished. In both the sediment core and the top layer sediment no detectable fast fractions were present for all the compounds studied, so these were estimated as upper limits from the desorption curves. This observation coincided with very high in situ distribution coefficients for several PCBs and PAHs:  10−1000 times higher than literature values for short contact time experiments. Rate constants were (3−8) × 10-3 h-1 for slow desorption and (0.16−0.5) × 10-3 h-1 for very slow desorption. In some cases only a very slowly desorbing fraction was detectable. Desorption from field contaminated sediments with extended contact times may not be readily estimated from laboratory experiments in which contaminants have contact times with the sediment in the order of weeks.
In the regulatory context, bioaccumulation assessment is often hampered by substantial data uncertainty as well as by the poorly understood differences often observed between results from laboratory and field bioaccumulation studies. Bioaccumulation is a complex, multifaceted process, which calls for accurate error analysis. Yet, attempts to quantify and compare propagation of error in bioaccumulation metrics across species and chemicals are rare. Here, we quantitatively assessed the combined influence of physicochemical, physiological, ecological, and environmental parameters known to affect bioaccumulation for 4 species and 2 chemicals, to assess whether uncertainty in these factors can explain the observed differences among laboratory and field studies. The organisms evaluated in simulations including mayfly larvae, deposit-feeding polychaetes, yellow perch, and little owl represented a range of ecological conditions and biotransformation capacity. The chemicals, pyrene and the polychlorinated biphenyl congener PCB-153, represented medium and highly hydrophobic chemicals with different susceptibilities to biotransformation. An existing state of the art probabilistic bioaccumulation model was improved by accounting for bioavailability and absorption efficiency limitations, due to the presence of black carbon in sediment, and was used for probabilistic modeling of variability and propagation of error. Results showed that at lower trophic levels (mayfly and polychaete), variability in bioaccumulation was mainly driven by sediment exposure, sediment composition and chemical partitioning to sediment components, which was in turn dominated by the influence of black carbon. At higher trophic levels (yellow perch and the little owl), food web structure (i.e., diet composition and abundance) and chemical concentration in the diet became more important particularly for the most persistent compound, PCB-153. These results suggest that variation in bioaccumulation assessment is reduced most by improved identification of food sources as well as by accounting for the chemical bioavailability in food components. Improvements in the accuracy of aqueous exposure appear to be less relevant when applied to moderate to highly hydrophobic compounds, because this route contributes only marginally to total uptake. The determination of chemical bioavailability and the increase in understanding and qualifying the role of sediment components (black carbon, labile organic matter, and the like) on chemical absorption efficiencies has been identified as a key next steps. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2012;8:42–63. © 2011 SETAC
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Sediment-quality guidelines (SQGs) have been published for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) using both empirical and theoretical approaches. Empirically based guidelines have been developed using the screening-level concentration, effects range, effects level, and apparent effects threshold approaches. Theoretically based guidelines have been developed using the equilibrium-partitioning approach. Empirically-based guidelines were classified into three general categories, in accordance with their original narrative intents, and used to develop three consensus-based sediment effect concentrations (SECs) for total PCBs (tPCBs), including a threshold effect concentration, a midrange effect concentration, and an extreme effect concentration. Consensus-based SECs were derived because they estimate the central tendency of the published SQGs and, thus, reconcile the guidance values that have been derived using various approaches. Initially, consensus-based SECs for tPCBs were developed separately for freshwater sediments and for marine and estuarine sediments. Because the respective SECs were statistically similar, the underlying SQGs were subsequently merged and used to formulate more generally applicable SECs. The three consensus-based SECs were then evaluated for reliability using matching sediment chemistry and toxicity data from field studies, dose-response data from spiked-sediment toxicity tests, and SQGs derived from the equilibrium-partitioning approach. The results of this evaluation demonstrated that the consensus-based SECs can accurately predict both the presence and absence of toxicity in field-collected sediments. Importantly, the incidence of toxicity increases incrementally with increasing concentrations of tPCBs. Moreover, the consensus-based SECs are comparable to the chronic toxicity thresholds that have been estimated from dose-response data and equilibrium-partitioning models. Therefore, consensus-based SECs provide a unifying synthesis of existing SQGs, reflect causal rather than correlative effects, and accurately predict sediment toxicity in PCB-contaminated sediments.
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In order to assess the importance of the mode of feeding for the bioaccumulation of contaminants from sediments, three marine benthic invertebrates, with different feeding habits, were exposed to contaminated sediments in outdoor mesocosms. Residue analyses were carried out for several polychlorinated biphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons after exposure periods of 60 to 140 days. It was shown that sediment ingestion is a major uptake route for the sediment-feeding lugworm, Arenicola marina, and for the facultative deposit-feeding baltic tellin, Macoma balthica. Residues in the filter-feeding mussel, Mytilus edulis, appeared to be independent of contaminant concentrations in the sediment. The difference between deposit and filter-feeding bivalves was confirmed in experiments involving the baltic tellin, with differences in the food availability in the overlying water. A simple linear regression model was used to describe contaminant concentrations in sediment-feeding invertebrates as a function of concentrations in sediment. A correction for the accumulation from water was made by subtracting the concentrations in filter feeders. It was concluded that chemical equilibrium partitioning alone is not sufficient for the assessment of the risks of contaminated sediments to sediment-feeding invertebrates, but that feeding habits should also be considered.
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The purpose of this review paper is to present the technical basis for establishing sediment quality criteria using equilibrium partitioning (EqP). Equilibrium partitioning is chosen because it addresses the two principal technical issues that must be resolved: the varying bioavailability of chemicals in sediments and the choice of the appropriate biological effects concentration.The data that are used to examine the question of varying bioavailability across sediments are from toxicity and bioaccumulation experiments utilizing the same chemical and test organism but different sediments. It has been found that if the different sediments in each experiment are compared, there is essentially no relationship between sediment chemical concentrations on a dry weight basis and biological effects. However, if the chemical concentrations in the pore water of the sediment are used (for chemicals that are not highly hydrophobic) or if the sediment chemical concentrations on an organic carbon basis are used, then the biological effects occur at similar concentrations (within a factor of two) for the different sediments. In addition, the effects concentrations are the same as, or they can be predicted from, the effects concentration determined in water- only exposures.The EqP methodology rationalizes these results by assuming that the partitioning of the chemical between sediment organic carbon and pore water is at equilibrium. In each of these phases, the fugacity or activity of the chemical is the same at equilibrium. As a consequence, it is assumed that the organism receives an equivalent exposure from a water-only exposure or from any equilibrated phase, either from pore water via respiration, from sediment carbon via ingestion; or from a mixture of the routes. Thus, the pathway of exposure is not significant. The biological effect is produced by the chemical activity of the single phase or the equilibrated system.Sediment quality criteria for nonionic organic chemicals are based on the chemical concentration in sediment organic carbon. For highly hydrophobic chemicals this is necessary because the pore water concentration is, for those chemicals, no longer a good estimate of the chemical activity. The pore water concentration is the sum of the free chemical concentration, which is bioavailable and represents the chemical activity, and the concentration of chemical complexed to dissolved organic carbon, which, as the data presented below illustrate, is not bioavailable. Using the chemical concentration in sediment organic carbon eliminates this ambiguity.Sediment quality criteria also require that a chemical concentration be chosen that is sufficiently protective of benthic organisms. The final chronic value (FCV) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality criteria is proposed. An analysis of the data compiled in the water quality criteria documents demonstrates that benthic species, defined as either epibenthic or infaunal species, have a similar sensitivity to water column species. This is the case if the most sensitive species are compared and if all species are compared. The results of benthic colonization experiments also support the use of the FCV.Equilibrium partitioning cannot remove all the variation in the experimentally observed sediment- effects concentration and the concentration predicted from water-only exposures. A variation of approximately a factor of two to three remains. Hence, it is recognized that a quantification of this uncertainty should accompany the sediment quality criteria.The derivation of sediment quality criteria requires the octanol/water partition coefficient of the chemical. It should be measured with modern experimental techniques, which appear to remove the large variation in reported values. The derivation of the final chronic value should also be updated to include the most recent toxicological information.
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A sediment bioassay is being developed using several marine benthic invertebrates to assess the effects of parental transfer of contaminants to the gametes. In this preliminary study, the emphasis was placed on developing methods for the in vitro fertilization of lugworm, Arenicola marina, oocytes. Lugworms exposed to contaminated sediments in outdoor mesocosms were brought to the laboratory, just before the beginning of the spawning period. The reliability of an in vitro fertilization procedure was tested by varying several parts of the method. Main results are that eggs and embryos may be physically damaged by cleaning over a sieve. However, as no negative effects were observed when leaving eggs and sperm together for 24 h, the sperm need not be washed off until the embryos are preserved for further examination later on. A first, incomplete screening of the effects of contaminated harbour dredged sediments indicated some effect on the reproductive success.
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Published ingestion rates of total dry material (inorganic and organic) by benthic invertebrate deposit feeders and detritivores feeding at 15C could be explained almost entirely by organic content of the ingested material and body size; the relation was consistent for 19 species from 3 phyla. Since ingestion rate of total dry material varied inversely with the organic content of the food, organic matter ingestion (C) was essentially a function of body size (W): C = 0.381 W0.742C = 0.381 \cdot W^{0.742} where C is mg day-1 and W is mg dry weight. These animals may maintain a rate of intake of organic matter which is independent of the organic content of the food source by: (1) Actively adjusting their feeding rates according to some perception of food quality, and/or (2) Adapting their feeding rates to different environments on an evolutionary time scale.
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Lugworms, Arenicola marina (L.), were found almost everywhere on the tidal flats of the Dutch Wadden Sea. Mean biomass amounted to about 5 g·m−2 ash-free dry weight, mean numerical density to 17 per m2 with only about one quarter of the animals being juveniles (about year old).Numbers of adults and total lugworm biomass showed a maximum in a zone at 1 to 4 km from the coasts, about halfway between high- and low-water mark and at intermediate silt content of the sediment. Numerical densities as well as biomass values showed a bell-shaped relationship to both silt percentages and heights in the tidal zone. Numbers of adults were high at lower tidal levels and at a wider range of silt percentages than juveniles. Individual weights of adults increased in an off-shore direction, and were highest at low intertidal levels and in sandy sediments, where food availability was below average.During their first period of burrowed life (April or May to winter) lugworms were most numerous on high grounds near the coast. They dispersed during winter at an age of 1 to year (at a mean weight of about 40 mg ADW), transported by tidal currents.During a 10 year study of Balgzand, a 50 km2 tidal flat area in the westernmost part of the Wadden Sea, lugworm numbers were found to decline at a mean annual rate of 22%. Annuel recruitment of 1 to year old juveniles to the adult stock was irregular but on average (20%) almost equal to annual mortality. After an initial decline during some years of low recruitment, total population of adults was found to be stable. Population stability will have been enhanced by a long lifespan and an inverse relationship between adult density and rate of recruitment.From data on annual elimination by mortality plus predation on regenerating tail ends, a P/B ratio of almost 0.7 could be estimated for somatic production by a stable lugworm population; to include gametic production this figure will have to be raised to about 1.0.
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Multivariate analyses were used to assess the independent determinants of four organochlorines (OCs) in the fat and eggs of breeding female Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis. The amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDE, DDT, and dieldrin, in both adult fat tissue and in eggs were positively correlated. However, there was no correlation between the amounts of OCs in adults and their eggs. Positive correlations between the amounts of different OCs in adults and in eggs suggest that individual differences in non-breeding range, diet and age are determinants of pollutant levels within a species. The mass of ingested plastic was positively correlated only with PCBs, a group of chemicals commonly found in plastics. It is probable that seabirds assimilate PCBs and other toxic chemicals partly from ingested plastic particles.
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Lugworms (Arenicola marina) are typical marine deposit feeders (Jumars, 1993). Labile organic matter, notably bacteria, meiofauna and diatoms, is digested from the large volumes of nutritionally-poor sediment which are processed by the gut. Detritus is not evidently digested. However, it is trapped in the funnel of the burrow, and probably enhances the nutritional quality of the food by providing a substrate for bacterial growth. The worm's irrigation current is also important because, if the headshaft of the burrow is blocked so that the current no longer reaches the funnel, there is a decrease in the numbers of bacteria there.