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Abstract

Microplastics (MPs) are of environmental concern to marine ecosystems owing to the evidence of their presence in and adverse effects on organisms, but studies to address this problem on soils and its biota are scarce. Several questions can arise related to this major environmental problem and its impact on terrestrial ecosystems, mainly, whether MPs can transport contaminants (e.g. pesticides) to the soil matrix and if they can be a carrier of pesticides to soil biota. To contribute to the understanding of these issues, earthworms (Eisenia fetida) were exposed for 14 days to soil containing two different sized MPs (5 mm and 0.25 µm–1 mm) that were either previously sprayed or not with chlorpyrifos (CPF). Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were measured to track the exposure of the earthworms to MPs, both non-sprayed and sprayed with CPF. The behaviour of the earthworms in the test containers and the movement of MPs in the soil were assessed. The concentration of CPF in soil at the end of the experiment differed between the treatments with MPs of different sizes (17.9 ng g−1 and 2442 ng g−1 for large and small MPs, respectively). Despite the ability of the MPs to release CPF to the soil, the earthworms avoided the contaminated MPs at the highest contaminant level. At a lower concentration of CPF (large MPs), the earthworms avoided the MPs, but the contact time with contaminated soil was higher, as shown by the enhanced level of TBARs and AChE inhibition. However, no evidence of MPs uptake was recorded, thus it was not demonstrated that MPs can be carriers of pesticides to earthworms.

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... The amounts of adsorbed pesticides correlate with the octanolwater coefficient (Ramos et al., 2015). Desorption of chlorpyrifos and trifluralin from plastic particles occurs upon contact with soil, although their migration largely depends on the type of pesticide formulation; this is higher for the chlorpyrifos registered product than for the analytical standard dissolved in an organic solvent (Ramos et al., 2015;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019). 2018; Rehse et al., 2018;Zhang et al., 2019;Zocchi and Sommaruga, 2019) and marine organisms (Beiras and Tato, 2019;Bellas and Gil, 2020;Magara et al., 2019). ...
... The primary toxic mechanism of chlorpyrifos is based on its specific inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme that is predominantly involved in neurotransmission, but that has many other physiological functions unrelated to the cholinergic system (Sepčić et al., 2019). Chlorpyrifos has already been investigated in mixtures with microplastics (Bellas and Gil, 2020; Garrido et al., 2019;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019), which makes it a good model chemical for comparisons with other types of microplastics and organisms. Numerous effects of chlorpyrifos on selected terrestrial invertebrates have been reported (Gatti et al., 2002;Jager et al., 2007;Pelosi et al., 2014;Zhou et al., 2007), which include changes in immune parameters (Banaee et al., 2019;Galloway and Handy, 2003;Kankana Kalita and Devi, 2016). ...
... The bioavailability of chlorpyrifos for P. scaber was indirectly assessed by measuring the AChE activity in the haemolymph, which is a known specific target for organophosphates like chlorpyrifos (Banaee et al., 2019;Muangphra et al., 2016;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019). Here, this AChE activity was significantly and dose-relatedly decreased by chlorpyrifos. ...
Article
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Microplastics and agrochemicals are common pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems. Their interaction during coexistence in soils may influence their fate and adverse effects on terrestrial organisms. The aim of this study was to investigate how the exposure to two types of microplastics; polyester fibres, and crumb rubber; induce changes in immune parameters of Porcellio scaber and if the co-exposure of microplastics affects the response induced by the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos. A number of immune parameters, such as total haemocyte count, differential haemocyte count, and phenoloxidase-like activity were assessed. In addition, the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the haemolymph was evaluated as a measure of the bioavailability of chlorpyrifos. After three weeks of exposure, the most noticeable changes in the measured immune parameters and also a significantly reduced AChE activity were seen in chlorpyrifos-exposed animals. Both types of microplastic at environmentally relevant concentrations caused only slight changes in immune parameters which were not dependent on the type of microplastic, although the two types differed significantly in terms of the chemical complexity of the additives. Mixtures of chlorpyrifos and microplastics induced changes that differed from individual exposures. For example, alterations in some measured parameters suggested a reduced bioavailability of chlorpyrifos (AChE activity, haemocyte viability) caused by both types of microplastics exposure, but the increase of haemocyte count was promoted by the presence of fibres implying their joint action. In conclusion, this study suggests that immune processes in P. scaber are slightly changed upon exposure to both types of microplastics and microplastics can significantly modulate the effects of other co-exposed chemicals. Further research is needed on the short-term and long-term joint effects of microplastics and agrochemicals on the immunity of soil invertebrates.
... Similar to the studies on single exposure to microplastics, combined exposures of earthworms to microplastics and chemicals caused changes in the biomarkers related to stress. 38,39,[43][44][45][46] Combined exposure to chemicals and microplastics could also damage the nerve transmission process of earthworms 39) , as observed with the earthworms exposed to only microplastics. 33) Most studies did not report direct relationship between exposure to microplastics and death of earthworms, but some reported reducted weight and growth of earthworms 40,43,45) and increased mortality. ...
... Similar to the studies on single exposure to microplastics, combined exposures of earthworms to microplastics and chemicals caused changes in the biomarkers related to stress. 38,39,[43][44][45][46] Combined exposure to chemicals and microplastics could also damage the nerve transmission process of earthworms 39) , as observed with the earthworms exposed to only microplastics. 33) Most studies did not report direct relationship between exposure to microplastics and death of earthworms, but some reported reducted weight and growth of earthworms 40,43,45) and increased mortality. ...
Article
Objectives : The increase in the amount of plastics used has brought convenience to human life, but has also caused various environmental problems such as problems related to microplastics. Microplastics are defined as small plastic particles with a size of under 5 mm. As of now, research on microplastics has been largely focusing on the marine environment, and studies on microplastics in soil environment are on the rise in very recent years. Thus, the environmental impact of microplastics on the soil environment are insufficient than those on the marine environment, and there is a need for more studies. Therefore, this mini-review attempts to examine the studies on microplastics in soil environment focusing on the studies using earthworms as a test species. Methods : Published studies on microplastics in soil environment were identified by searching Web of Science. The focus of this mini-review was to gather the published articles reporting the effect of microplastics on earthworms in the absence and presence of other chemical contaminants. Results and Discussions : The number of studies evaluating the effect of microplastics in soil are significantly increasing, and earthworms are being mostly used as the test species. Experimental conditions were divided into two types: Single exposure to microplastics and combined exposure to microplastics and other chemicals. In most studies, changes in the biomarkers which are related to oxidation stress of earthworms were confirmed, and direct damage to intestinal tissues of earthworms was also observed. However, in the case of the changes of the biomarkers of earthworms, their patterns were different depending on the experimental conditions (i.e., concentrations of microplastics and chemicals, microplastics size and type, exposure period, etc.). Also, the avoidance behavior of earthworms and the internal accumulation of microplastics and co-existing chemicals were not consistent among the studies. Thus, the effects of microplastics on earthworms are not clear yet, although they seem to have some adverse effects. Conclusions : This study showed that the interest in the impact of microplastics in the soil environment has been increased recently, and earthworms are being used mostly in the studies. Yet, there is no standardized method to study the effect of microplastics on earthworms. Studies so far confirmed that microplastics induced changes in and outside of earthworm bodies. However, due to various experimental conditions, it seemed that consistent results could not be confirmed in those researches. For that reason, this study suggests that standardized research methods for microplastics researches using earthworms as a test species need to be established and need to be applied to further studies.
... Overall, the documented effects in these studies included reduction in growth, oxidative stress, membrane stability and reduction in protein content and natural pigments. From the 16 studies conducted with annelids, five included co-exposure with contaminants, namely, PCBs , chlorpyrifos (sprayed to the surface of PE spheres (Rodríguez-Seijo et al. 2018b)), BaP (Gomiero et al. 2018), nonylphenol, phenanthrene, triclosan and PBDE-47 (sorbed to microplastics ). Of the effects found in annelids, alterations in behaviour (i.e. ...
... reduced feeding) were most commonly reported associated with exposure to PCBs . Reduction in growth was also observed at lower concentrations when plastic particles were sprayed with chlorpyrifos (Rodríguez-Seijo et al. 2018b) or coexposed with PCBs . Of the reviewed studies for Echinodermata, only Beiras et al. (2018) utilized microplastics spiked with benzophenone-3, an organic, hydrophobic chemical found in cosmetic products, using P. lividus as a test organism. ...
Book
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This open access book examines global plastic pollution, an issue that has become a critical societal challenge with implications for environmental and public health. This volume provides a comprehensive, holistic analysis on the plastic cycle and its subsequent effects on biota, food security, and human exposure. Importantly, global environmental change and its associated, systems-level processes, including atmospheric deposition, ecosystem complexity, UV exposure, wind patterns, water stratification, ocean circulation, etc., are all important direct and indirect factors governing the fate, transport and biotic and abiotic processing of plastic particles across ecosystem types. Furthermore, the distribution of plastic in the ocean is not independent of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics, since much of the plastic in marine ecosystems originates from land and should therefore be evaluated in the context of the larger plastic cycle. Changes in species size, distribution, habitat, and food web complexity, due to global environmental change, will likely alter trophic transfer dynamics and the ecological effects of nano- and microplastics. The fate and transport dynamics of plastic particles are influenced by their size, form, shape, polymer type, additives, and overall ecosystem conditions. In addition to the risks that plastics pose to the total environment, the potential impacts on human health and exposure routes, including seafood consumption, and air and drinking water need to be assessed in a comprehensive and quantitative manner. Here I present a holistic and interdisciplinary book volume designed to advance the understanding of plastic cycling in the environment with an emphasis on sources, fate and transport, ecotoxicology, climate change effects, food security, microbiology, sustainability, human exposure and public policy.
... Alternative test methods (effects on gut microbiome community) showed that the combination of microplastics (polyamide and polyvinyl chloride) with the antibiotic tetracycline increased the diversity of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in E.crypticus [in comparison to the antibiotic or the microplastics alone, and although the microplastics did not increase the accumulation of tetracycline in the organisms] [222]. Another study showed that low-density polyethylene microplastics size (1 and 5 mm) influenced the sorption and desorption of the pesticide chlorpyrifos and its consequent release to soil, with the soil spiked with 1 mm-microplastics having more than 100 times the concentration of chlorpyrifos, in comparison to the soil spiked with 5 mm-microplastics [223]. However, as the earthworm E. fetida seem to avoid the spiked soil (alternative method) by burrowing to the bottom of the test vessels in the presence of microplastics + pesticide (behaviour not recorded in controls) there was no clear vertical transportation of the microplastics and the pesticide to deeper layers of the soil. ...
... However, as the earthworm E. fetida seem to avoid the spiked soil (alternative method) by burrowing to the bottom of the test vessels in the presence of microplastics + pesticide (behaviour not recorded in controls) there was no clear vertical transportation of the microplastics and the pesticide to deeper layers of the soil. Nevertheless, alternative tests results (AChE inhibition, biomarker for neurotoxicity) showed that E. fetida was exposed to microplastics´ released chlorpyrifos, and that chlorpyrifos reached concentrations high enough to cause a neurologic response [223]. ...
Article
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The outstanding work performed by standardization organizations for guidelines to assess hazards, e.g., OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), is clearly visible by the currently available number and broad coverage, from aquatic to terrestrial organisms dealing with environmental relevant issues. Nevertheless, novel materials challenge the adequateness and fit-for-purpose of such standards, as the standards were developed to assess hazards of “conventional” chemical substances and not advanced materials (e.g. materials that may deliberately change behaviour). While standardization is a well-known process that requires extended time before reaching implementation stage, there is strong support from regulatory bodies for the development of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) (e.g., updating of current guidelines, development of novel omics-, in vitro-, and in silico- tests including modelling and read-across) that meet regulatory preparedness (i.e. have considered issues important for regulatory testing). There are currently several NAMs available, complying with high quality standards and relevancy, which should be adopted. In the current review, we collected the available literature on NAMs to assess hazards of Nanomaterials (NMs), focusing on the terrestrial environment, and critically discuss the advantages, challenges and gaps. Tests were grouped into 1) Standard tests (OECD/ISO), 2) Standard tests (OECD/ISO) extensions: time course or prolonged exposures and/or multigenerational, and 3) Alternative tests, beyond current OECD/ISO: omics, biomarkers, in vitro, in silico and modelling. The goal is to provide guidance on the best practices and test designs focusing on the specificities of testing NMs, outlining recommendations and way forward.
... Microplastics residues may serve as factitious vehicles for pollutants, including heavy metals (Richard et al., 2019), antibiotics , agrochemicals (Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019), and other organic contaminants (Huffer et al., 2019;Li et al., 2018), which may be adsorbed to the surfaces of microplastics (Hamid et al., 2018;Rillig, Ingraffia, & De Souza Machado, 2017). A Web of Science database search identified about 50 articles published in 2018 and 2019 on sorption of chemical contaminants to MPs (Tourinho et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Microplastics (MPs) are widespread in natural ecosystems and have attracted considerable attention from scientists all over the world because they are believed to threaten every life form. In addition to their potential physical and chemical effects on organisms, MPs may act as a carrier for transferring many micropollutants including antibiotics, heavy metals and others. Over the last 10–15 years, extensive research has been carried out on MPs in marine environment, its sources, fate and toxicity. However, studies concerning their accumulation in soil ecosystem, uptake, internalization and impacts on photosynthetic components of the terrestrial ecosystem, and risk assessment have been scanty. Thus, there is a large knowledge gap on the extent to which terrestrial environments, especially agroecosystems are affected by MPs, and their subsequent risks to human health. This review summarizes up‐to‐date findings about MPs on terrestrial environments and would provide some guidelines for future studies regarding the phytotoxic effects of MPs on plants, mechanism of uptake and translocation in plant tissues, detection tools for MPs in plants, impacts on plant growth, development and agricultural productivity, and most importantly the future prospects of MPs interaction and accumulation in plants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved MPs contamination in the agroecosystems and how they impact plant performance techniques employed by the research community to detect the MP/NPs in plant tissues Microplastics are carriers for micropollutants such as antibiotics & heavy metals.
... Banyak peneliti menilai bahwa mikroplastik dapat menjadi ancaman serius bagi biota tanah dengan menghambat pertumbuhan dan reproduksi organisme, serta mengganggu keanekaragaman hayati tanah. Namun, ada juga bukti yang menunjukkan bahwa dosis rendah mikroplastik memiliki efek yang dapat diabaikan pada organisme tanah (Huerta Lwanga et al., 2016;Rodriguez-Seijo et al., 2017;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019). Untuk mengevaluasi dengan lebih baik peran mikroplastik pada biota tanah di bawah kondisi yang bervariasi secara temporal dan spasial, diperlukan pemahaman yang lebih baik tentang proses pengaturan. ...
Book
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Buku Permodelan Lingkungan: Teori dan Aplikasi menghadirkan pendekatan teori permodelan yang diaplikasikan pada penyelesaian permasalahan lingkungan di lapangan. Pembahasan pada buku ini dimulai dari memahami model, bagaimana mengembangkan berbagai model, dan mengaplikasikan model pada berbagi permasalahan lingkungan
... The combined effects of MPs and pollutants pose a threat to the soil biota (Table 3). Pollutants such as chlorpyrifos can be introduced into the soil by small-sized MPs (Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019). Moreover, MPs can increase the bioavailability of heavy metals. ...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) have been widely studied, mostly focusing on the methods of separation, detection, and adsorption or the ecological effects in aquatic ecosystems. When different sources and types of MPs/NPs enter the soil, they can affect the biogeochemical cycle in terms of the direct impacts on soil physicochemical properties and soil organisms, and the indirect impact on soil biota through changes in soil material cycling. To date, a few studies have focused on the effects of MPs/NPs on soil ecosystems, including soil properties, microbial communities, soil fauna, and plants, as well as the potential or affirmed correlations among them. In this review, we summarized the recent literature on soil MPs/NPs focusing on their types, sources, separation, and ecological impacts on soil properties, microbes, and plants. We attempted to establish an overall relationship between MPs/NPs and soil plant system. Based on existing studies, we also highlight the research gaps and propose several directions for future studies.
... skin damage, induction of oxidative stress, loss of body weight, reduction in growth, mortality), although experiments were all laboratory or mesocosm based, over short time periods (<60 days) and at maximum loading rates ranging from 1% to 60% (Boots et al., 2019;Cao et al., 2017;Y. H. Chen et al., 2020;Huerta Lwanga et al., 2016;Judy et al., 2019;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019). MP loading rates in the aforementioned experiments ranged from 0.01% to 2% (w/w). ...
Article
Plastics are now widespread in the natural environment. Due to their size, microplastics (MPs; defined as particles <5 mm) in particular, have the potential to cause damage and harm to organisms and may lead to a potential loss of ecosystem services. Research has demonstrated the significant impact of MPs on aquatic systems; however, little is known about their effects on the terrestrial environment, particularly within agroecosystems, the cornerstone of global food production. Soil biology is highly responsive to environmental perturbation and change. Hereby, we investigated the effect of pure low-density polyethylene (LDPE) MP loading (0, 100, 1000, or 10000 kg ha⁻¹) on soil and plant biological health in a field environment over a cropping season. Our results showed that MP loading had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on the soil bacterial community diversity (as measured by amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene), the size and structure of the PLFA-derived soil microbial community, or the abundance and biomass of earthworms. In addition, metabolomic profiling revealed no dose-dependent effect of MP loading on soil biogenic amine concentrations. The growth and yield of wheat plants (Triticum aestivum L., cv. Mulika) were also unaffected by MP dose, even at extremely high (≥1000 kg ha⁻¹) loading levels. Nitrogen (N) cycling gene abundance before and after N fertiliser application on the MP loaded experimental plots showed relatively little change, although further experimentation is suggested, with similar trends evident for soil nitrous oxide (N2O) flux. Overall, we illustrate that MPs themselves may not pose a significant problem in the short term (days to months), due to their recalcitrant nature. We also emphasise that most MPs in the environment are not pure or uncontaminated, containing additives (e.g. plasticisers, pigments and stabilisers) that are generally not chemically bound to the plastic polymer and may be prone to leaching into the soil matrix. Understanding the effect of additives on soil biology as well as the longer-term (years to decades) impact of MPs on soil biological and ecological health in the field environment is recommended.
... 2) Behavioral, sensory, and neuromuscular functions: The endpoints related to behavioral, sensory, and neuromuscular functions were highly impacted by pristine MPs/NPs, especially activity and locomotion (62%), followed by consumption (35%), sensory perception (50%), and nervous system (36%) (Fig. 2). Further earthworm studies on behavioral effects of exposure to MPs/NPs are required as they were measured in only four studies with 23 endpoints Huerta Lwanga et al., 2016;Lwanga et al., 2017;Rodriguez-Seijo et al., 2019). 3) Fitness: Fitness-related endpoints were the most studied, yet the least affected by pristine MPs/NPs. ...
Article
In laboratory studies, micro- and/or nanoplastics (MPs/NPs) have been shown to cause a variety of ecotoxicological effects on soil invertebrates. Existing data on the effects of these plastic debris on biological functions and physiological systems, showed a great variability among studies. Thus, how soil invertebrates respond to different types, shapes, sizes and concentrations of pristine MPs/NPs remains to be further characterized. The present work is an up-to-date review on quantitative and qualitative data on the effects of pristine MPs/NPs on soil invertebrates in laboratory conditions. Research priorities are also discussed. Out of a total of 1061 biological endpoints investigated in 56 studies, 49% were significantly affected after exposed to pristine MPs/NPs. The polymers with chloro and phenyl groups had more negative impacts on soil invertebrates than other polymers. Most studies used earthworm and nematode species as model organisms. For nematodes, the impact of MPs/NPs seemed to be concentration-dependent and higher concentrations of pristine MPs/NPs appeared to have more adverse impacts on biological functions and physiological systems, but this trend was not confirmed in earthworms. Meta-analysis revealed that pristine MP/NP concentrations higher than 1 g kg⁻¹ (in soil) may decrease growth and survival of earthworms, while a concentration higher than 1 μg L⁻¹ (in water) may affect nematode reproductive fitness.
... In addition, landfilling [42] and incineration [43] of plastic are well documented to cause health and environmental problems [44,45]. Instead of applying a linear model to the use of materials, circular economy models can be used to provide sustainability, separating economic growth from resource consumption [46,47]. ...
Article
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Design has an important role in shaping the modes of production, consumption and disposal. Decisions made early in the product, service and system development influence the majority of the environmental impact and social consequences. With sustainability emerging as the major challenge of our times, the creation of novel methodologies, economic models and innovative materials is critical. In this paper, we put forward a new methodology that aims to bridge the ecomodernist business-focused circular economy models with the expressive material driven design (MDD) approach. The ‘design out waste methodology’ (DOWM) bridges existing concepts, methods and practices, creating an innovative design and production process that redefines waste and sets it up as a subject of creative study. The purpose of this process is to help designers understand the importance of evaluating the entire life cycle of a product; it also enables local ‘degrowth’ by shifting our modes of production towards a human scale with local makers exchanging knowledge and expressing themselves through upcycled materials, while simultaneously eradicating the very concept of waste. The methodology has been developed in an iterative research-through-design process that combines experiential and tacit knowledge from local case studies with desk research of emerging case studies in MDD.
... Compared to plants, it is easy to understand the transport of ARGs on microplastics from soil to animals. Microplastics and their adsorbed pollutants, such as pesticides, could be accumulated in soil earthworms (Rillig et al., 2017b;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019). It has been proved that microplastics alone can disturb the gut microbiome of soil animals, such as collembolans (Folsomia candida) (Ju et al., 2019;Zhu et al., 2018). ...
Article
Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and microplastics in the environment are of great public concern due to their potential risk to human health. Microplastics can form distinct bacterial communities and absorb pollutants from the surrounding environment, which provide potential hosts and exert possible selection pressure of ARGs. We provide a practical evaluation of the scientific literature regarding this issue. The occurrence and transport of ARGs on microplastics in wastewater treatment plants, aquatic, terrestrial, and air environments were summarized. Selective enrichment of ARGs and antibiotic resistance bacteria on microplastics have been confirmed in different environments. Aggregates may be crucial to understand the behavior and transport of ARGs on microplastics, especially in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Microplastics could be a carrier of ARGs between the environment and animals. Accumulation of pollutants and dense bacterial communities on microplastics provide favorable conditions for higher transfer rate and evolution of ARGs. More studies are still needed to understand the enrichment, transport, and transfer of ARGs on microplastics and provide a fundamental basis for evaluating their exposure health risk to humans.
... carboxyl residues) (Bergbreiter, 1994;Bao et al., 2011;Chua et al., 2014). In addition, MPs play a role as pesticide vectors since it has been demonstrated that MPs carry pesticides through long distances in wetlands or after pesticide applications followed by rains (Seidensticker et al., 2018;Hüffer et al., 2019;Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2019;Wanner, 2021). ...
Article
The effects of glyphosate (GLY)-based and glufosinate ammonium (GA)-based herbicides (GBH and GABH, respectively) and polyethylene microplastic particles (PEMPs) on Scinax squalirostris tadpoles were assessed. Tadpoles were exposed to nominal concentrations of both herbicides (from 1.56 to 100 mg L⁻¹) and PEMPs (60 mg L⁻¹), either alone or in combination, and toxicity evaluated at 48 h. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterase (CbE), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities were analyzed at the three lowest concentrations (1.56, 3.12 and 6.25 mg L⁻¹, survival rates >85%) of both herbicides alone and with PEMPs. Additionally, the thermochemistry of the interactions between the herbicides and polyethylene (PE) was analyzed by Density Functional Theory (DFT). The median-lethal concentration (LC50) was 43.53 mg L⁻¹ for GBH, 38.56 mg L⁻¹ for GBH + PEMPs, 7.69 for GABH, and 6.25 mg L⁻¹ for GABH+PEMPs. The PEMP treatment increased GST but decreased CbE activity, whereas GBH and GABH treatments increased GST but decreased AChE activity. In general, the mixture of herbicides with PEMPs increased the effect observed in the individual treatments: the highest concentration of GBH + PEMPs increased GST activity, whereas GABH+PEMP treatments decreased both AChE and CbE activities. DFT analysis revealed spontaneous interactions between the herbicides and PE, leading to the formation of bonds at the herbicide-PE interface, significantly stronger for GA than for GLY. The experimental and theoretical findings of our study indicate that these interactions may lead to an increase in toxicity when pollutants are together, meaning potential environmental risk of these combinations, especially in the case of GA.
... However, this observation was not made after exposures to higher concentrations of 1 mg/kg polystyrene, which fits more with the results of the present study. Other studies confirm this low acute toxicity with no observed mortality after even higher concentrations of PS or exposures to other microplastics such as polyethylene (Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2018a;2018b;Wang et al., 2019). A study by (Sheng et al., 2021) investigated effects of car tire abrasions on the earthworm E. fetida after exposures of 14 and 28 d in artificial soil and only observed changes on enzymatic biomarkers but no mortality. ...
Article
Microplastics are small plastic fragments that are widely distributed in marine and terrestrial environments. While the soil ecosystem represents a large reservoir for plastic, research so far has focused mainly on the impact on aquatic ecosystems and there is a lack of information on the potentially adverse effects of microplastics on soil biota. Earthworms are key organisms of the soil ecosystem and are due to their crucial role in soil quality and fertility a suitable and popular model organism in soil ecotoxicology. Therefore, the aim of this study was to gain insight into the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of microplastics on the earthworm Eisenia andrei on multiple levels of biological organization after different exposure periods. Earthworms were exposed to two types of microplastics: (1) polystyrene-HBCD and (2) car tire abrasion in natural soil for 2, 7, 14 and 28 d. Acute and chronic toxicity and all subcellular investigations were conducted for all exposure times, avoidance behavior assessed after 48 h and reproduction after 28 d. Subcellular endpoints included enzymatic biomarker responses, namely, carboxylesterase, glutathione peroxidase, acetylcholinesterase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferase and catalase activities, as well as fluorescence-based measurements of oxidative stress-related markers and multixenobiotic resistance activity. Multiple biomarkers showed significant changes in activity, but a recovery of most enzymatic activities could be observed after 28 d. Overall, only minor effects could be observed on a subcellular level, showing that in this exposure scenario with environmentally relevant concentrations based on German pollution levels the threat to soil biota is minimal. However, in areas with higher concentrations of microplastics in the environment, these results can be interpreted as an early warning signal for more adverse effects. In conclusion, these findings provide new insights regarding the ecotoxicological effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of microplastics on soil organisms.
... There is limited information available on the influence of anthropogenic activities or population characteristics on the type and load of MPs present in wastewater effluent and/or waste sludge. Studies have reported a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and chemical characteristics of MPs, which is influenced by their source, and how these characteristics will affect their mobility in the environment and exert potential adverse impacts on human and ecosystem health [37][38][39][40]. Therefore, it is challenging to standardize MP particles found in aquatic environments and is a significant limitation in current research in this area. ...
Article
In recent years, the presence of the group of contaminants, termed as microplastics (MPs) has been recognized as significant water pollutants with considerable potential for exerting adverse impacts on human health and wildlife. Natural attenuation has practically no effect while conventional treatment processes are not capable of entirely removing MPs which are reported to accumulate in the environment, in organisms in the aquatic food web and, potentially reaching humans. This in-depth review critically evaluates the state-of-the-art engineered technologies suitable for the separation and degradation of microplastics in water with potential for real-scale application. The outcomes of the review confirmed that very limited number of studies are reported in this field, the majority from recent years and have focused on using phase-changing processes, including coagulation-flocculation, flotation, and membrane processes. A few other studies have reported the use of chemical or biological digestion, and even fewer, engineered removal using biodegradation, wet oxidation, and advanced oxidation processes. This paper focuses on the type of MPs being removed, the process conditions and the outcomes reported in research literature. The emerging trends in the field are also highlighted as well as the identification of current knowledge gaps and future research directions along with perceptive comments and recommendations related to the application of available technologies for water treatment.
... Terrestrial ecosystems can be contaminated as a result of agricultural practices, and plastic waste disposal (Rodríguez-Seijo et al. 2018). In many countries across SEA, processed sewage sludge is used as a fertiliser on farmlands. ...
Article
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Plastics are synthetic polymers known for their outstanding durability and versatility, and have replaced traditional materials in many applications. Unfortunately, their unique traits ensure that they pose a major threat to the environment. While literature on freshwater microplastic contamination has grown over the recent years, research undertaken in rapidly developing countries, where plastic production and use are increasing dramatically, has lagged behind that in other parts of the world. In the South East Asia (SEA) region, basic information on levels of contamination is very limited and, as a consequence, the risk to human and ecological health remains hard to assess. This review synthesises what is currently known about microplastic contamination of freshwater ecosystems in SEA, with a particular focus on Malaysia. The review 1) summarises published studies that have assessed levels of contamination in freshwater systems in SEA, 2) discusses key sources and transport pathways of microplastic in freshwaters, 3) outlines what is known of the impacts of microplastic on freshwater organisms, and 4) identifies key knowledge gaps related to our understanding of the transport, fate and effects of microplastic.
... For instance, polyester microfibers significantly affect soil physical properties (bulk density and water holding capacity) as compared to PE fragments, polyamide beads, and polyacrylic fibers (de Souza Machado et al. 2018b). A detailed account of the negative effects of microplastics on soil properties is given in Table 3. Microplastics contain several toxic additives (viz., bisphenol A, phthalates, alkylphenol), which may further leach and render negative effects on soil organisms (vertebrates and invertebrates) by disrupting their hormonal system (Teuten et al. 2009;Hodson et al. 2017;Rodríguez-Seijo et al. 2019;Groh et al. 2019). Microplastics may act as small sinks and further sources of adsorbed contaminants viz., metal/ metalloids, antibiotics and pesticides Cao et al. 2021). ...
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In the past few decades, pollution from microplastics has emerged as an important issue on a global scale. These plastic particles are mainly the result of anthropogenic activities. Urban sprawl, industrialization, indiscriminate use and poor waste management of plastic products are the main factors responsible for the accumulation of microplastics in different ecosystems of the environment. The presence of microplastics in the soil matrix is considered an emerging threat to agroecosystems. Since most of the studies on microplastics have been done in the aquatic environment. The understanding of the ecotoxicological effects of these contaminants in terrestrial ecosystems is still limited, especially in agroecosystems. The negative effects of microplastics on the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil are now revealing. But the effects of microplastics on plant growth and yield are largely unexplored. Microplastic contamination in the soil can alter the functioning of plants by affecting the microbial community of the rhizosphere and disturbing the homeostasis of the agroecosystem. Furthermore, it may transfer into the plant system through nutrient and water absorption channels and affect plant physiology. The pervasive nature of microplastics in the soil is considered a barrier to sustainable agriculture and ecosystem functioning. The present review gives an overview of the sources, dissipation and effects of microplastics with reference to the soil–plant system, highlights the research gaps, and deciphers the possible future threats to agroecosystems. Graphical abstract
... Third, microplastics may serve as a vector of pathogenic bacteria (Martínez-Campos et al., 2022) and fungi as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria (Parthasarathy et al., 2019). Furthermore, microplastics can be carriers of pesticides (Rodríguez-Seijo et al., 2018). Finally, microplastics represent fossil carbon, which is independent of photosynthesis and net primary production (Rillig and Lehmann, 2020). ...
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... Additionally, hydrophobic persistent organic pollutants in the environment, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are easily adsorbed on PS particles (C. M. Rodriguez-Seijo et al., 2019). Pollution caused by PAHs poses environmental problems worldwide. ...
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Owing to their wide distribution, easy production, and resistance to degradation, microplastics (MPs) represent a globally emerging group of pollutants of concern. Furthermore, their decomposition can result in the generation of nanoplastics (NPs), which cause further environmental issues. Currently, the impact of the combination of these plastics with other organic pollutants on crop growth remains poorly investigated. In this study, a hydroponic experiment was conducted for seven days to evaluate the effects of 50 nm, 50 mg/L polystyrene (PS), and 1 mg/L phenanthrene (Phe) on the growth of rice plants. The results revealed that both Phe and PS inhibited growth and improved the antioxidant potential of rice. Relative to Phe alone, exposure to a combination of PS and Phe reduced Phe accumulation in the roots and shoots by 67.73% and 36.84%, respectively, and decreased the pressure on the antioxidant system. Exposure to Phe alone destroyed the photosynthetic system of rice plant leaves, whereas a combination of PS and Phe alleviated this damage. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis of the rice transcriptomes revealed that detoxification genes and phenylalanine metabolism were suppressed under exposure to Phe, which consequently diminished the antioxidant capacity and polysaccharide synthesis in rice plants. Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) transcriptome analysis revealed that the combined presence of both PS and Phe improved photosynthesis and energy metabolism and alleviated the toxic effects of Phe by altering the carbon fixation pathway and hormone signal transduction in rice plants. The combination of PS and Phe also prevented Phe-associated damage to rice growth. These findings improve our understanding of the effects of MP/NPs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on crops.
... 4. Co-contamination effects of MPs and other contaminants deserve to be explored. MPs can absorb toxic metals and organic pollutants and thus change their bioavailability and toxicity, producing combined toxic effects on soil fauna (Hodson et al., 2017;Rodr ıguez-Seijo et al., 2019). Other emerging contaminants such as antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, perfluorinated compounds, flame retardants, and nanomaterials have also been found in soil (Naidu et al., 2016). ...
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From the last few decades, many studies have focused on plastic pollution in the marine or lake environment, but pollution in the terrestrial environment, especially in agricultural lands, has largely been overlooked. In Memari II Block, Purba Bradhaman, West Bengal, it has been observed that farmers have applied plastic-enriched biofertilizers and sewage sludge water in their farmlands. The major objectives of the present work are quantifying the plastic additives in agricultural lands, identifying the amount of detected plastics with description, observing the possible sources of plastics, and its impact on agricultural soil health. Two different treatments have been observed for this analysis: plastic control clusters (28 grids) and contaminated clusters (28 grids). Averagely 4500 mg/Kg⁻¹ soil has been quantified as macroplastic, while in the case of microplastic, averagely 430 mg/Kg⁻¹ soil has been found. Low-density polyethylene (44.50%) is predominately higher in the fields. A total of 98 (61.25%) fields are mainly plastic-contaminated compost-based fields and the remaining 62 fields (38.75%) are sewage sludge-based fields. From the results, it is confirmed that plastic control fields are much more healthy than contaminated. Higher bulk density (pb = 1.58 g/cm³), low porosity (40.26%), comparably lower soil aggregation (36%), and declining microbial activities and respiration have been reported in contaminated clusters. In comparison with control clusters, the result shows ideal bulk density (pb = 1.04, as per USDA-NRCS), healthy soil porosity (60.61%), higher aggregation (48%), improving respiration, and active microbial activities. The work is concluded with some possible and indigenous ways to minimize this hazardous pollution in soils.
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Microplastic (MP) pollution has raised public concerns in recent decades globally due to its wide global spreading and potential toxicity. Most of existing studies have focused on MP pollution in marine, freshwater, and sediment systems. However, much less research attention has been paid to soil, which is a major sink of MPs. Furthermore, research interest in MPs in groundwater is even lower than that in soils. There is a critical need to digest and summarize the existing knowledge and the latest advancements to promote research on MP pollution in soils and groundwater. As the first of its kind, this work provides a systematical review of the newest knowledge on occurrences, sources, analytical methods, and impacts of MPs in both soils and groundwater. It first outlines the characteristics (global occurrences, sources, and pathways) of MP pollution in soils and groundwater. Commonly used analytical methods including sample collection (sites, tools, depth, points, and quantity), sample preparation (drying and sieving), extraction (separation, digestion, etc.), identification (visual sorting, chromatography, and vibration spectroscopy), and quality assurance/quality control are then systematically reviewed. Furthermore, the risks and impacts of MPs on soil properties, plants, animals, and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) between microorganisms and humans are discussed. At the end, this review also identifies the knowledge gaps and points out potential directions for future research.
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Microplastic (MP) contamination is a current global problem in the environment and specifically in soils. Plastics enter the soils through multiple pathways, such as agricultural application, organic amendments from wastewater treatment plants, landfills, or industrial sources. This chapter provides a description of the current state of the analytical techniques used for the extraction, quantification, and identification of MP in soils. In this sense, the methodology for determination and quantification of MP is currently easier and much more developed for aqueous media than for soils, due to the difficulties affecting analytical methods for extraction and identification of MP in complex matrices such as soils. The procedures and processes needed to isolate MP from soils vary considerably among studies. Currently, there is no single method to isolate MP from soil. In general, the main techniques for MP separation from soil include sieving, density flotation, filtration, and digestion processes. Microplastics extracted from soil samples can be identified and quantified mainly by means of visual classification, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), spectroscopic techniques (Raman Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), or Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)), and thermoanalytical techniques (Thermal Extraction and Desorption Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (TED-GC/MS), Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (Pyr-GC/MS), and Thermogravimetric Analysis Mass Spectrometry (TGA-MS)), among others. The main advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are also discussed.
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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.
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Recent studies have been engaged in estimating the adverse effects of microplastic (MP) on soil quality parameters. Mass concentrations of MP, as found in highly contaminated soils, have been shown to weaken the soil structure, and parts of the edaphon are adversely affected mainly by the
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The organic manures contain large proportion of organic matter, small quantities of plant nutrients and play pivotal role in improving the soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The use of FYM and compost in agriculture is an age old practice to improve crop productivity. The inoculations of microorganisms in soil are also beneficial for maintaining soil health though decomposition of organic matter, N fixation, solubilization/mineralization, production of antibiotics and plant growth regulators etc. In the paper, the roles of vermicompost, FYM and biofertilizers on crop productivity and soil health have been discussed in detail. The bioxidation and stabilization of organic material by using earthworms and mesophilic microorganisms is known as vermicomposting. The vermicompost applications in soil stimulate soil microbial activity and mineralization processes. The application of FYM and vermicompost boost the activities of beneficial soil microorganisms and improve the supply of mineral nutrients, soil structure, water retention capability and enzymatic activities. Seed or soil inoculated biofertilizers promotes the nutrient cycling and improves crop productivity with two ways i.e. direct - N fixation, solubilization of nutrients production of phytohormones, indirect – development of resistance in plant against the stress and diseases and heavy metals bioremediation. The use of manures along with biofertilizers in farming ensures the improvement in soil biodiversity and food safety for human consumption. The use of manures in agriculture is essential for sustainable production systems and to keep the soil alive and healthy.
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Biochar particles are extensively used in soil remediation and interact with microplastics (MPs), especially metal oxide-modified biochar may have stronger interactions with MPs. The mechanism of interactions between humic acid (HA) and different valence cations is different and the co-effect on the transport of MPs is not clear. In this study, the co-effects of HA and cations (Na⁺, Ca²⁺) on the transport and retention of MPs in saturated porous media with peanut shell biochar (PSB) and MgO-modified PSB (MgO-PSB) were systematically investigated. Breakthrough curves (BTCs) of MPs were fitted by the two-site kinetic retention model for analysis. In the absence of HA, the addition of PSB and MgO-PSB significantly hindered the transport of MPs in saturated porous media, and the retention of microplastics increased from 34.2% to 59.1% and 75.5%, respectively. In Na⁺ solutions, the HA concentration played a dominant role in controlling MPs transport, compared to the minor role of Na⁺. The transport capacity of MPs always increased gradually with the increase of HA concentration. Whereas, in Ca²⁺ solutions, Ca²⁺ concentrations had a stronger effect than HA. The transport ability of MPs was instead greater than that in Na ⁺ solutions as the HA concentration increased at low ionic strength (1 mM). However, the transport capacity of MPs was significantly reduced with increasing HA concentrations at higher ionic strength (10, 100 mM). The two-site kinetic retention model indicated that chemical attachment and physical straining are the main mechanisms of MPs retention in the filled columns.
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In recent years, the intensification in environmental pollution with micro and nano-plastics (MNPs) has become a global environmental concern. MNPs are some of the emerging contaminants that appear as new challenges to the scientific community because of their adverse effect on human health and environment. Conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can efficiently remove the MNPs from the wastewater. The reduction of MNPs from WWTPs has attracted much attention in the past decades. Despite the efficient removal, WWTPs are considered one of the key routes through which MNPs have been introduced to the environment, through the large volumes of effluent continually released to the water bodies. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the behavior of MNPs and their removal mechanisms in WWTPs is highly essential. Nevertheless, an inclusive review of the MNPs treatment techniques in WWTPs is infrequent. So, we review the treatment processes presently employed for MNPs removal in WWTPs to upgrade the existing designs further. In addition, the effectiveness of advanced treatment processes, such as membrane technologies, advanced oxidation process, electro-coagulation, nano technology, etc., in eliminating MNPs are presented and discussed. However, possible toxic microbial biotransformation of MNPs during biological treatment steps in WWTPs needs to be taken care of via further in-depth research. As a basic knowledge of removal mechanisms in WWTPs could reduce the environmental pervasiveness of MNPs, this review is likely to offer helpful information in establishing an efficient approach to control and minimize environmental pollution from MNPs.
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Microplastic (MP) is one of the largest issues within which the global terrestrial environment, flora, fauna, and water bodies are now facing problems. The existence of MPs is abundant in our ecosystem. It has entered our food chain and food web and has become a serious issue that should be discussed worldwide. It is the result of anthropogenic activities and inappropriate disposal of plastics by humans. MPs are more dangerous because they transfer into higher organisms through trophic levels and biological magnification. MPs are considered an invisible peril to human health. In the case of soil microbes and animals, studies reveal that after ingestion, they alter digestive systems, circulatory systems, reproductive organs, and feeding behavior, which results in stagnant growth. The main aim of this chapter is to explain the various issues faced when MPs enter into the environment. We also broadly discuss microbes, animals, occurrences, distributions, mechanisms of entry, accumulation, and ecological effects into soils. Therefore, research on the interactions with MPs would provide an understanding of its interactions and impacts to the organisms in the ecosystems.
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Microplastics may be potential vectors for environmental contaminants such as heavy metals in the aquatic ecosystem due to their highly hydrophobic surfaces and fugacity property. To investigate the combined effects of microplastics with Pb, we exposed juvenile Chinese mitten crabs Eriocheir sinensis to different Pb concentrations (0, 5 and 50 μg/L) combined with microplastics (0 and 400 μg/L) for 21 days to determine the Pb bioaccumulation, oxidative stress, lipid anabolism, and histopathology of hepatopancreas. In general, the results showed that compared to single Pb exposure, the combination of MPs and Pb significantly increased the bioaccumulation of Pb, activities/content of antioxidant biomarkers and lipid metabolism enzymes, and liver injury parameters in crabs, indicating MPs are potential vector of heavy metals and co-exposure exerts more severe effects on crabs. This study provides the insights into the oxidative defense and preliminary lipid anabolism of economic crustaceans in response to combined stress of Pb and MPs.
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The use of plastics has increased significantly with consequent rise in the generation of wastes. Microplastics (MPs) with particle size <5 mm are produced in natural terrestrial habitats by weathering of the discarded plastic debris and therefore are likely to impact soil biota. Earthworms are the dominant soil fauna which play vital role in soil formation and decomposition of organics. Since these animals are soil feeders, MP particles contaminating soil are likely to enter in to the gut of these animals affecting their physiology. MPs have been shown to be potent adsorbents of various other pollutants such as heavy metals and agrochemicals. This study reports the effects of two MPs, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polypropylene (PP) alone and in combination with the pesticide monocrotophos in soil on tissue protein, lipid peroxidation (LPX), activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and catalase (CAT) of an epigeic earthworm Eudrillus eugeniae over an exposure period of 48h. Results from molecular docking and laboratory experiment confirmed that both the MPs are potent adsorbents of the pesticide and enhanced oxidative stress on the animal with significant reduction in protein, increased LPX level and enzyme activities. PP indicated significantly higher pesticide adsorption relative to PVC.
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Plastic pollution is a widespread environmental problem that is currently one of the most discussed issues by scientists, policymakers and society at large. The potential ecotoxicological effects of plastic particles in a wide range of organisms have been investigated in a growing number of exposure studies over the past years. Nonetheless, many questions still remain regarding the overall effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on organisms from different ecosystem compartments, as well as the underlying mechanisms behind the observed toxicity. This chapter provides a comprehensive literature review on the ecotoxicological impacts of microplastics and nanoplastics in terrestrial and aquatic organisms in the context of particle characteristics, interactive toxicological effects, taxonomic gradients and with a focus on synergies with associated chemicals. Overall, a total of 220 references were reviewed for their fulfilment of specific quality criteria (e.g. experimental design, particle characteristics, ecotoxicological endpoints and findings), after which 175 were included in our assessment. The analysis of the reviewed studies revealed that organisms’ responses were overall influenced by the physicochemical heterogeneity of the plastic particles used, for which distinct differences were attributed to polymer type, size, morphology and surface alterations. On the other hand, little attention has been paid to the role of additive chemicals in the overall toxicity. There is still little consistency regarding the biological impacts posed by plastic particles, with observed ecotoxicological effects being highly dependent on the environmental compartment assessed and specific morphological, physiological and behavioural traits of the species used. Nonetheless, evidence exists of impacts across successive levels of biological organization, covering effects from the subcellular level up to the ecosystem level. This review presents the important research gaps concerning the ecotoxicological impacts of plastic particles in different taxonomical groups, as well as recommendations on future research priorities needed to better understand the ecological risks of plastic particles in terrestrial and aquatic environments.
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Complex and organic-rich solid substrates such as sludge and soil have been shown to be contaminated by microplastics; however, methods for extracting plastic particles have not yet been systemically tested or standardised. This study investigated four main protocols for the removal of organic material during analysis of microplastics from complex solid matrices: oxidation using H2O2, Fenton’s reagent, and alkaline digestion with NaOH and KOH. Eight common polymer types were used to assess the influence of reagent exposure on particle integrity. Organic matter removal efficiencies were established for test sludge and soil samples. Fenton’s reagent was identified as the optimum protocol. All other methods showed signs of particle degradation or resulted in an insufficient reduction in organic matter content. A further validation procedure revealed high microplastic extraction efficiencies for particles with different morphologies. This confirmed the suitability of Fenton’s reagent for use in conjunction with density separation for extracting microplastics. This approach affords greater comparability with existing studies that utilise a density-based technique. Recommendations for further method optimisation were also identified to improve the recovery of microplastic from complex, organic-rich environmental samples.
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Furan is a common food contaminant and environmental pollutant. Spirulina platensis (SP) is a blue-green algae extensively used as therapeutic and health supplements. This study aimed to explore the probable beneficial role of SP against the influence of furan on reproductive system of male rats. Adult male rats were divided into control, vehicle control, SP (300 mg/kg bwt/ day, 7 days), furan (16 mg/kg bwt/ day,30 day), SP/furan, furan/SP and furan+SP groups. Hematology, sperm count, sperm morphology, serum testosterone (TES), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol (E2) levels, reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), testicular enzymes, and pro inflammatory cytokines were estimated. In addition, histopathology of testis and seminal vesicles and apoptosis were evaluated. Anaemia, leukocytosis, and reduced gonadosomatic index were observed in the furan treated group. TES, LH, FSH, E2, and GSH were significantly decreased following furan treatment. MDA, testicular enzymes, and pro inflammatory cytokines were significantly incremented in testis of furan treated rats. Furan induced apoptic changes in testis. SP significantly counteracted furan reprotoxic impacts, particularly at co-exposure. Conclusively, these findings verified that SP could be candidate therapy against furan reprotoxic impacts.
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The interaction of plastics with hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) is well established. Several HOCs are known carcinogens and/or endocrine disruptors. To determine how chemicals in plastic affect the marine environment, it is necessary to understand the kinetics of HOC sorption/desorption. This includes the understanding of sorption kinetics and mechanisms along with simple modeling concepts such as the first order rate kinetic model that can often adequately describe the overall phenomenon. However, to more mechanistically understand the chemical uptake and desorption process, the diffusion of chemicals in plastic is also discussed as well as the direct observation of this process in sectioned plastic particles. Moreover, modeling is required to understand the diffusion of chemicals in microplastic particles. In addition, case studies from the literature are presented which seek to understand how compounds move in and out of the plastics found in the marine environment or when in contact with other fluids besides seawater such as stomach fluids or fish oil.
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Microplastics and nanoplastics are emerging pollutants of global importance. They are small enough to be ingested by a wide range of organisms and at nano-scale, they may cross some biological barriers. However, our understanding of their ecological impact on the terrestrial environment is limited. Plastic particle loading in agroecosystems could be high due to inputs of some recycled organic waste and plastic film mulching, so it is vital that we develop a greater understanding of any potentially harmful or adverse impacts of these pollutants to agroecosystems. In this article, we discuss the sources of plastic particles in agroecosystems, the mechanisms, constraints and dynamic behaviour of plastic during aging on land, and explore the responses of soil organisms and plants at different levels of biological organisation to plastic particles of micro and nano-scale. Based on limited evidence at this point and understanding that the lack of evidence of ecological impact from microplastic and nanoplastic in agroecosystems does not equate to the evidence of absence, we propose considerations for addressing the gaps in knowledge so that we can adequately safeguard world food supply.
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This article introduces a simple and cost-saving method developed to extract, distinguish and quantify light density microplastics of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in soil. A floatation method using distilled water was used to extract the light density microplastics from soil samples. Microplastics and impurities were identified using a heating method (3-5s at 130°C). The number and size of particles were determined using a camera (Leica DFC 425) connected to a microscope (Leica wild M3C, Type S, simple light, 6.4×). Quantification of the microplastics was conducted using a developed model. Results showed that the floatation method was effective in extracting microplastics from soils, with recovery rates of approximately 90%. After being exposed to heat, the microplastics in the soil samples melted and were transformed into circular transparent particles while other impurities, such as organic matter and silicates were not changed by the heat. Regression analysis of microplastics weight and particle volume (a calculation based on image J software analysis) after heating showed the best fit (y=1.14x+0.46, R(2)=99%, p<0.001). Recovery rates based on the empirical model method were >80%. Results from field samples collected from North-western China prove that our method of repetitive floatation and heating can be used to extract, distinguish and quantify light density polyethylene microplastics in soils. Microplastics mass can be evaluated using the empirical model.
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At least 300 Mio t of plastic are produced annually, from which large parts end up in the environment, where it persists over decades, harms biota and enters the food chain. Yet, almost nothing is known about plastic pollution of soil; hence, the aims of this work are to review current knowledge on i) available methods for the quantification and identification of plastic in soil, ii) the quantity and possible input pathways of plastic into soil, (including first preliminary screening of plastic in compost), and iii) its fate in soil. Methods for plastic analyses in sediments can potentially be adjusted for application to soil; yet, the applicability of these methods for soil needs to be tested. Consequently, the current data base on soil pollution with plastic is still poor. Soils may receive plastic inputs via plastic mulching or the application of plastic containing soil amendments. In compost up to 2.38-1200mg plastic kg(-1) have been found so far; the plastic concentration of sewage sludge varies between 1000 and 24,000 plastic items kg(-1). Also irrigation with untreated and treated wastewater (1000-627,000 and 0-125,000 plastic items m(-3), respectively) as well as flooding with lake water (0.82-4.42 plastic items m(-3)) or river water (0-13,751 items km(-2)) can provide major input pathways for plastic into soil. Additional sources comprise littering along roads and trails, illegal waste dumping, road runoff as well as atmospheric input. With these input pathways, plastic concentrations in soil might reach the per mill range of soil organic carbon. Most of plastic (especially >1μm) will presumably be retained in soil, where it persists for decades or longer. Accordingly, further research on the prevalence and fate of such synthetic polymers in soils is urgently warranted.
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Areas such as Douro Demarcated Region (Portugal), where vineyards are frequently located on steep slopes of narrow valleys, can be particularly sensitive to runoff and erosion processes. These particular conditions are expected to enhance the transport of pollutants, acting as a potential source of contamination to freshwater systems. The intense vine cultivation in this region includes decades of pesticides application, that have resulted in the accumulation of these chemicals and its degradation products in the vineyards soils and sediments. Residues of several pesticides related to agricultural activities were found in soils, with older vineyards showing higher levels of Cu and banned insecticides (such as DDT). The metabolite 4,4-DDE was the compound found at higher levels in soils and in sediments. The relatively high levels in more recent sediments suggest that soils are still a source of contamination. Levels of currently used pesticides were low, which is related with their physicochemical properties, the application period, and climacteric conditions.
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The occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in saltwater bodies is relatively well studied, but nothing is known about their presence in most of the commercial salts that are widely consumed by humans across the globe. Here, we extracted MP-like particles larger than 149 μm from 17 salt brands originating from 8 different countries followed by the identification of their polymer composition using micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were absent in one brand while others contained between 1 to 10 MPs/Kg of salt. Out of the 72 extracted particles, 41.6% were plastic polymers, 23.6% were pigments, 5.50% were amorphous carbon, and 29.1% remained unidentified. The particle size (mean ± SD) was 515 ± 171 μm. The most common plastic polymers were polypropylene (40.0%) and polyethylene (33.3%). Fragments were the primary form of MPs (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%) and films (10.6%). According to our results, the low level of anthropogenic particles intake from the salts (maximum 37 particles per individual per annum) warrants negligible health impacts. However, to better understand the health risks associated with salt consumption, further development in extraction protocols are needed to isolate anthropogenic particles smaller than 149 μm.