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Abstract

Microplastics can adsorb chemical pollutants such as metals or pharmaceuticals, and transferred them along the food chain. In this work, an investigation of the adsorption of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn by five different types of microplastics was performed in Milli-Q water and natural waters (seawater, urban wastewater and irrigation water) via a series of batch adsorption experiments. The effects of concentration of metals and physicochemical characteristics of polymers were particularly studied. Results revealed a significant adsorption of lead, chromium and zinc on microplastics, especially on polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride. In the case of polyethylene terephthalate, it showed little adsorption capacity. Specific surface, porosity and morphology are characteristics that affect the molecular interactions. The adsorption isotherms were better described by Langmuir model, which indicates that the main adsorption mechanism might be chemical adsorption. Finally, results obtained in natural waters indicated that dissolved organic matter may play a major role on metal adsorption on microplastics. Results showed an enhancement of metal adsorption in waters with high chemical and biological oxygen demands as urban wastewater and irrigation water.

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... MPs can adsorb chemical pollutants such as heavy metals (Wen et al., 2018), persistent organic pollutants (Gu et al., 2020), pathogens (Kirstein et al., 2016) or pharmaceuticals , and transfer them along the food chain (Godoy et al., 2019). By 2019, water quality impairment in lakes and reservoirs in China is mainly attributed to the heavy metal pollution (Nava and Leoni, 2021). ...
... To determine the interactive effects of MPs and Pb, crabs were exposed to a 2 × 3 factorial design containing two concentrations of MPs (0 and 400 μg/L) and three Pb concentrations (0, 5 and 50 μg/L). The MPs and Pb were fully mixed 48 h in advance before use in the combined exposure by a constant temperature incubator (25°C, light: dark = 12: 12) and the adsorption of Pb by MPs (polymers: polystryrene, size:<5 mm) reached equilibrium in 36 h (Godoy et al., 2019;Turner and Holmes, 2015). During the 21-d experiment, the acclimated crabs were randomly divided into 5 experimental treatments (i.e., Pb5 + MPs0, Pb50 + MPs0, Pb0 + MPs400, Pb5 + MPs400, Pb5 + MPs400) and a control group (Pb0 + MPs0), and each treatment had 3 replicates (aquaria, eighteen crabs per aquaria). ...
... Previous studies have shown that MPs can absorb heavy metals from surrounding water, and then act as vectors to transport heavy metals to aquatic animals. MPs function as vehicle may be due to the large specific and hydrophobic surface of MPs (Turner and Holmes, 2015;Godoy et al., 2019). ...
Article
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.
... Efforts have been made to investigate interaction of plastics and MPs with organic pollutants, including antibiotics, PAHs, PCBs, HCHs, DDTs, flame retardants, fuel aromatics, and other types of organic pollutants (Bao et al. 2020;Chen et al. 2019;Gao et al. 2019;Godoy et al. 2019;Guo et al. 2018Guo et al. , 2020aHodson et al. 2017;Holmes et al. 2012Holmes et al. , 2014Hüffer and Hofman 2016;Hu et al. 2017;Jiang et al. 2020;Lin et al. 2020;Liu et al. 2018;Llorca et al. 2018;Razanajatovo et al. 2018;Shan et al. 2020;Wang et al. 2015Xu et al. 2018aXu et al. , 2018bYang et al. 2019;Yu et al. 2020;Zhang et al. 2018;Zou et al. 2020), as summarized and depicted in Figure 9.1. In the following sections, the sorption of organic pollutants onto MPs is discussed in detail. ...
... That exceeds by far what might be reasonably anticipated in the aquatic environment. The sorption capacity can reach up to several mg/g with high initial concentration of metal ions (0.5-32 ppm; Godoy et al. 2019). The maximum uptakes of Cu and Zn leached from an antifouling paint by MPs were 3000 and 270 μg/g, respectively (Brennecke et al. 2016). ...
... Types of polymers constituting the MPs in the ocean environment mainly include PE, PVC, PP, PS, PA, and PET . Published papers that focus on the sorption of pollutants by specific types of MPs in recent years are summarized in Figure 9.2 (Bao et al. 2020;Chen et al. 2019;Gao et al. 2019;Godoy et al. 2019;Guo et al. 2018Guo et al. , 2020aHodson et al. 2017;Holmes et al. 2012Holmes et al. , 2014Hu et al. 2017;Hüffer and Hofman 2016;Jiang et al. 2020;Lin et al. 2020;Liu et al. 2018;Llorca et al. 2018;Razanajatovo et al. 2018;Shan et al. 2020;Wang et al. 2015Xu et al. 2018aXu et al. , 2018bYang et al. 2019;Yu et al. 2020;Zhang et al. 2018;Zou et al. 2020). Over 90 sets of experiments have been carried out on the sorption behaviors of PE, the most studied plastic. ...
Chapter
Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous and pose a potential threat to the marine environment and human health. This chapter summarizes the reported research on sorption of organic pollutants and metals ions onto MPs. It reviews the sorption capacity of different types of pollutants onto MPs. The chapter then reviews the factors that influence the interactions between pollutants and MPs, such as the type of polymer, the degree of weathering, pH, and ionic strength. It also summarizes the sorption kinetics and isotherms of pollutants onto MPs and discusses the sorption mechanisms. The interaction between antibiotics and MPs is receiving increasing attention because of their concentration by MPs that increases their potential bioavailability to ingesting organisms. The linear, Langmuir, and Freundlich isotherm models are three of the most frequently used models in the adsorption of organic pollutant and metals ions by MPs.
... In addition, MPs in soils act as adsorbents for both organic and inorganic contaminants [17][18][19]. Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) are important inorganic soil contaminants that cause negative impacts on soil and food quality [20,21]. PTEs are easily absorbed by plants; hence, the production of foods in contaminated agricultural soils threatens the quality of said foods [20]. ...
... According to the study by Holmes et al. [27] metal adsorption may have occurred through the interactions between bivalent cations (e.g., Cu 2+ , Cd 2+ , and Pb 2+ ) and oxyanions (e.g., Cr 2 O 4 2+ ) with charged or polar regions of the plastic surface and via non-specific interactions between neutral metal-organic complexes and the hydrophobic surface of the bulk plastic medium. Furthermore, the adsorption capacity of MPs can be varied depending on their morphology, specific surface, or the presence of additives [17]. ...
... In addition, dissolved organic matter has been identified as a major factor that could increase the adsorption of PTEs onto MPs [17]. Dissolved organic matter increases the adsorption of PTEs onto MPs in two ways. ...
Article
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Microplastics (MPs) have been identified as an emerging soil pollutant and a global environmental concern. Scientists have recently paid attention to the contamination of soil by MPs as their detrimental impacts on soil systems are largely unknown. MPs are considered to be vectors for other soil contaminants, such as potentially toxic elements (PTEs) and organic contaminants. PTEs are persistent contaminants and are often released into soils in large quantities. MPs adsorb PTEs, mainly via electrostatic attraction and surface complexation, and increase their mobility in soils. These complexes can be easily absorbed by plants; hence, the accumulation of PTEs in plants can be enhanced in both microplastic and PTE contaminated soils. Furthermore, there is a high risk of food chains contamination by PTEs due to crops grown in both microplastic and PTE-contaminated soils. Consequently, countermeasures including policy-and governance-based approaches that target circular economy as well as reduce, reuse, recycle (3R) applications are being discussed around the world to minimize the environmental contamination of MPs.
... It is noteworthy that the transport, exposure and accessibility of toxic metals in the marine environment is greater from the inclusion of these components as additives during the manufacturing process (e.g. Pb as a stabiliser (Hahladakis et al., 2018) or Al for flame retardants (Godoy et al., 2019)) than the adsorption onto the plastic surfaces from the water column (Turner et al., 2020). It follows that plastics with metal additives in highly contaminated waters have the potential to be highly hazardous to the ecosystem. ...
... Adsorption of aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) on various polymers particles have been confirmed (Bhagwat, 2021;Gao, 2019;Godoy et al., 2019;Guo et al., 2020;Li et al., 2018;Rochman et al., 2014). Sorption affinity of metals followed PVC > PS > PP > PE > PET > PA (Bhagwat, 2021;Gao, 2019). ...
... Sorption affinity of Cd was PVC > PS > PP > PE even with differing pH, humic acid concentration and ionic strength (Guo et al., 2020). Co and Ni had the lowest adsorption rates (Godoy et al., 2019). Although limited, based on the available data, ranking was possible (Table S18). ...
Article
Plastics are an intrinsic part of modern life with many beneficial uses for society. Yet, there is increasing evidence that plastic and microplastic pollution poses a risk to the environment and human health. Microplastics are increasingly grouped as a complex mix of polymers with different physicochemical and toxicological properties. This study attempts to assess the hazardous properties of common polymer types through the development of an integrated multi-criteria framework. The framework establishes a systematic approach to identify plastic polymers of concern. A semi-quantitative method was devised using twenty-one criteria. We used a case study from Victoria, Australia, to evaluate the effectiveness of the framework to characterize the environmental risk of common polymer types. A wide range of data sources were interrogated to complete an in-depth analysis across the material life cycle. We found that three polymers had the highest risk of harm: polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and polystyrene; with dominant sectors being: building and construction, packaging, consumer and household, and automotive sectors; and greatest leakage of plastics at the end-of-life stages. Our findings illustrate the complexity of microplastics as an emerging contaminant, and its scalability supports decision-makers globally to identify and prioritize management strategies to address the risks posed by plastics. Environmental implication The hazardous nature of mismanaged plastics is an international concern. The negative impacts on the environment and human health are increasingly coming to light. Consequently, resource constraints limits the ability to address all problems. Our work adopts a holistic approach to evaluate the risk of harm from microplastics across the entire life cycle to allow for targeted management measures. The hazard assessment of common polymer types developed using a multi-criteria framework, presents a systematic approach to prioritize polymers at any scale. This allows for the development of optimal investments and interventions to ensure that high-risk environmental problems are addressed first.
... Trace metals Pb, Cu and Cd in seawater showed higher absorbance on PVC and PP particles compared with PA, PE, and polyformaldehyde (Gao et al. 2019). A significant adsorption of Pb, Cr and Zn on PE and PVC MPs and low adsorption on PET in different waters have been shown (Godoy et al. 2019). ...
... The authors suggest that this effect could be explained by cations competing for adsorption onto the surface of the MP (Purwiyanto et al. 2020;Yu et al. 2019). However, generally, the effect of salinity on metal ion adsorption on microplastics depends on the type of MPs and metal speciation (Godoy et al. 2019;Holmes et al. 2014;Yu et al. 2019). Rochman et al. (2014) suggested that there is a positive correlation between the accumulation of trace metals on microplastics and the time of their contact, plastic debris can accumulate more metals the longer it remains in the sea. ...
... The presence of organic substances in the surrounding water It has been shown that dissolved organic substances from the surrounding natural waters can play a certain role in the process of metal adsorption on microplastics: (a) providing an additional area for metal binding; and/or (b) competing with metal ions in adsorption on the microplastic surface (Godoy et al. 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics are one of the major contaminants of aquatic nature where they can interact with organic and inorganic pollutants, including trace metals, and adsorb them. At the same time, after the microplastics have entered the aquatic environments, they are quickly covered with a biofilm - microorganisms which are able to produce extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that can facilitate sorption of trace metals from surrounding water. The microbial community of biofilm contains bacteria which synthesizes EPS with antimicrobial activity making them more competitive than other microbial inhabitants. The trace metal trapping by bacterial EPS can inhibit the development of certain microorganisms, therefore, a single microparticle participates in complex interactions of the diverse elements surrounding it. The presented review aims to consider the variety of interactions associated with the adsorption of trace metal ions on the surface of microplastics covered with biofilm, the fate of such microplastics and the ever-increasing risk to the environment caused by the combination of these large-scale pollutants - microplastics and trace metals. Since aquatic pollution problems affect the entire planet, strict regulation of the production, use, and disposal of plastic materials is needed to mitigate the effects of this emerging pollutant and its complexes could have on the environment and human health.
... Recently, MPs were considered to be carriers for heavy metals in environmental media [28]. It was reported that metal cations, e.g., Cu 2+ or Pb 2+ , exhibit various affinity towards MPs particles [29]. The mobility of metal cations is greatly contingent on plastics with varied physicochemical properties, e.g., polymer type [30], crystallinity, density or particle size [31], and specific surface area [3]. ...
... Indicated differences in metal mobility in tested sandy soil confirmed that adsorption behavior varies between types of MPs exhibiting distinct surface physicochemical properties. Godoy et al. [29] described that specific surface, porosity and morphology are characteristics of the plastics that influence adsorption. In our study, microplastics obtained from PET (polyethylene phthalate) bottles had the least impact, while polyethylene (PE) and polyester (PEs) in fibers contributed more to the Cu 2+ and Pb 2+ sorption process. ...
Article
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Microplastics, due to their surface properties, porosity and electrostatic interactions have a high affinity for cations sorption from the aqueous phase. As soil is a complex matrix, interactions between microplastics, soil constituents and heavy metals (HM) may modify the soil microenvironment for heavy metal mobilization/immobilization processes. In order to better understand the problem, three commonly found forms of microplastics in soil (fibers, fragments and microbeads) were mixed with Cu2+- or Pb2+-contaminated soil and incubated at 22 °C for 180 days. In soil samples pH and the content of water and acid exchangeable species of metals were analyzed. The results of this study showed that the presence of microplastics in HM-contaminated soil affected metal speciation, increasing the amount of easily exchangeable and potentially bioavailable forms of Cu2+ or Pb2+ in the tested soil. Soil pH also increased, confirming that microplastic particles affect soil properties relevant to the sorption/desorption process of metal cations. Overall, the smallest microplastic particles (≤1 mm), such as fibers or glitter microbeads, had a greater impact on the change in the sorption and desorption conditions of metals in tested soil than larger particles. The findings of our study show that microplastic form, shape and size should be considered as important factors that influence the soil properties and mobility of heavy metals in soil.
... Microplastics possess a large surface area and adsorptive potential, which allow them to interact with other organic molecules, heavy metals, and other microplastics, making them a pollutant vector [83]. In the case of heavy metals, PVC and PS microparticles have been reported to have a solid interaction with copper and zinc, common elements found in chemical additives such as paint [84,85]. Bioactive molecules such as pesticides and antibiotics have also been reported to have sorption activity through microplastic molecules, making them a bigger hazard in estuaries compared to oceans and freshwater due to a higher concentration of contaminant particles [86]. ...
... Plasticizers are frequently employed to improve polymeric mechanical features, such as the flexibility and processability of polymer resins [84]. Over 90% of produced plasticizers are used to enhance PVC properties, expected to reach 59 million tons in 2020 [92,93]. ...
Article
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Plastics have become an essential part of the modern world thanks to their appealing physical and chemical properties as well as their low production cost. The most common type of polymers used for plastic account for 90% of the total production and are made from petroleum-based nonrenewable resources. Concerns over the sustainability of the current production model and the environmental implications of traditional plastics have fueled the demand for greener formulations and alternatives. In the last decade, new plastics manufactured from renewable sources and biological processes have emerged from research and have been established as a commercially viable solution with less adverse effects. Nevertheless, economic and legislative challenges for biobased plastics hinder their widespread implementation. This review summarizes the history of plastics over the last century, including the most relevant bioplastics and production methods, the environmental impact and mitigation of the adverse effects of conventional and emerging plastics, and the regulatory landscape that renewable and recyclable bioplastics face to reach a sustainable future.
... Therefore, it is necessary to study the Pb 2+ adsorption process and mechanism on MPs. Previous studies have showed that MPs can adsorb Pb 2+ in aquatic environment, and the interaction between MPs and Pb 2+ is affected by different environmental conditions such as dissolved organic matter (DOM), pH value, ionic strength, temperature and other conditions 13,[21][22][23][24] . Zou et al. ...
... Ahechti et al. 23 found that the adsorption capacity of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) for Pb 2+ was affected by the physicochemical conditions of the aquatic environment (exposure time, pH and salinity). Godoy et al. 24 investigated the adsorption of Pb 2+ by five different types of MPs in Milli-Q water and natural waters, and found that an enhancement of metal adsorption in waters with high concentration of DOM. HA, a representative DOM and widely exists in the aqueous environment, is an important natural ligands in regulating the speciation, bioavailability and ultimate fate of trace metal element in the environment 25,26 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics (MPs), act as vectors of heavy metal pollutants in the environment, is of practical significance to study the adsorption process and mechanism on heavy metals. In this study, polystyrene microplastics (PSMPs) were used as model MPs to study the adsorption of Pb2+ on PSMPs and the effects of humic acid (HA) on the adsorption process. The results showed that HA promoted the adsorption of Pb2+ on PSMPs, and the higher the concentration of HA, the greater the adsorption of Pb2+. With the increase of pH value and decrease of ionic strength, the adsorption capacity of PSMPs for Pb2+ increased. The scanning electron microscope equipped with the energy dispersive spectroscope (SEM–EDS), fourier transform-infrared spectra (FT-IR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis showed that Pb2+ could be adsorbed directly onto PSMPs and also indirectly by HA. The higher KSV values in the PSMPs-HA-Pb2+ system than PSMPs-HA system by fluorescence analysis of HA suggested that HA acted as a bridging role in the adsorption of Pb2+ on PSMPs. The site energy distribution analysis further revealed that HA increased the average site energy μ(E*) and its standard deviation σe* of PSMPs by introducing more adsorption sites, thus enhanced the adsorption affinity of PSMPs. This study provided more thoughts and insights into the adsorption behavior and mechanism of MPs for Pb2+ in aquatic environments.
... Besides the direct effects on organisms, such as mucosal damage, metabolism disruption and impaired reactive oxygen species balance (Dong et al., 2021;Qiao et al., 2019), MPs can serve an important adsorbent of anthropogenic pollutants and vehicle for metals and organic compounds for long-distance transport due to their stability and high mobility, especially in aquatic environments (Godoy et al., 2019;Lee et al., 2014). For instance, due to their high toxicity, bioaccumulation, and carcinogenic effects, heavy metals can cause harm to organisms and the ecosystem (Shen et al., 2021;Hua et al., 2012;Yao et al., 2006;Zhang et al., 2017), and the concentrations of pollutants on MPs can be several orders of magnitude higher than the background concentration in the surrounding seawater, which may enhance the transport and bioavailability of heavy metals, and ultimately transfer into organisms through the food chain (Alimi et al., 2018;Lang et al., 2020). ...
... The metal adsorption capacity of MPs is mainly affected by the surface properties of MPs, types of adsorbates, and environmental factors (Wang et al., 2020a). For example, Godoy et al. (2019) found that plastics have a different affinity for heavy metals, among seven heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn), MPs had a better affinity for Pb and Cr in their study. Some studies have reported that MPs can be physically or chemically aged through mechanical abrasion, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and Fenton aging in the environment (Aghilinasrollahabadi et al., 2021;Lang et al., 2020). ...
Article
Upon release into the aquatic environment, the surface of microplastics (MPs) can be readily colonized by biofilms, which may enhance the adsorption of contaminants. In this study, industrial-grade polystyrene (PS) of about 4 mm in size (MP4000–1), food-grade PS of about 4 mm in size (MP4000–2), and Powder PS of about 75 μm in size (MP75) were co-cultured with a model freshwater fungus, namely Acremonium strictum strain KR21–2, for seven days to form biofilms on their surface. We also determined the changes in surface physicochemical properties of the biofilm-covered MPs (BMPs) and the heavy metal adsorption capacity of the original MPs and BMPs. The results revealed that the biofilms improve the adsorption of heavy metals on MPs, and the particle size of MPs plays a crucial role in biofilm colonization and adsorption of heavy metals by BMPs. MP75 can carry more biofilm on its surface than that of the two MP4000s and form heteroaggregates with biofilms. In addition, there were more functional groups on the surface of BMP75 than on the surface of the two BMP4000s, which could promote the electrostatic interaction and chemical association of heavy metals. Moreover, BMP75 exhibited a higher capacity to adsorb Cu and reduce Cr (VI), which may be related to the functional groups in its biofilm. Overall, this study showed that after biofilms colonization, BMPs of smaller size have more significant potential as a metal vector, and the particle size deserves more scientific attention during the risk assessment.
... Most of the existing studies have focused on the behaviors, influencing factors, and mechanisms of heavy metal adsorption onto microplastics (Gao et al. 2021;Kutralam-Muniasamy et al. 2021;Liu et al. 2022;Luo et al. 2022). Moreover, microplastics were recently reported to act as a vector for heavy metals in aquatic and terrestrial systems and increase the chance of their bioaccumulation in organisms (Brennecke et al. 2016;Bradney et al. 2019;Abbasi et al. 2020;Godoy et al. 2019;Naqash et al. 2020). Furthermore, desorption of heavy metals from microplastics in the environments and guts of organisms that inadvertently ingest microplastics can cause microplastics to pose more risks of heavy metals (Munier and Bendell 2018;Zhu et al. 2018). ...
... Therefore, the high adsorption and low desorption capacities for heavy metals on PVC microplastics suggested that PVC may be capable of accumulating heavy metals effectively and carrying them into the environment and even transferring them along the food chain. These results were in agreement with those of previous studies showing that microplastics can act as a vector for heavy metals and increase levels in organisms within both aquatic and terrestrial environments, which may result in the additional potential for toxicity (Brennecke et al. 2016;Hodson et al. 2017;Godoy et al. 2019). Furthermore, the bioaccessibilities of heavy metals adsorbed on PVC microplastics were further determined by simulating a human gastrointestinal tract to develop a more accurate human health risk assessment, and this is discussed in the following sections. ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics can act as carriers of heavy metals and may enter humans through ingestion and threaten human health. However, the bioaccessibility of heavy metals associated with microplastics and its implications for human health risk assessments are poorly understood. Therefore, in this study, four typical heavy metals (As(V), Cr(VI), Cd(II), and Pb(II)) and one typical microplastic (polyvinyl chloride, PVC) were chosen to estimate the human health risk of microplastic-associated heavy metals by incorporating bioaccessibility. Significant adsorption of heavy metals was observed with the following order for adsorption capacity: Pb(II) > Cr(VI) > Cd(II) > As(V); the efficiencies for desorption of these four heavy metals from PVC microplastics were all below 10%. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results indicated that the functional groups on the surface of the virgin PVC microplastics did not play an important role in the capture process. Heavy metals in both gastric and small intestinal phases were prone to release from PVC microplastics when bioaccessibility was evaluated with the in vitro SBRC (Soluble Bioavailability Research Consortium) digestion model. In addition, Pb(II) bioaccessibility in the gastric phase was significantly higher than those in the other phases, while As(V), Cr(VI), and Cd(II) bioaccessibilities showed the opposite trend. After incorporating bioaccessibility adjustments, the noncarcinogenic hazards and carcinogenic risks determined were lower than those based on total metal contents. The individual hazard quotients (HQ) and carcinogenic risks (CR) for ingestion of these four heavy metals from PVC microplastics were all lower than the threshold values for adults and children. In summary, this study will provide a new view of the human health risks of heavy metals associated with microplastics.
... Supplementary Materials: The following supporting information can be downloaded at: https: //www.mdpi.com/article/10.3390/nano12132256/s1, Figure S1: The process of forming large plastics into microplastics, Figure S2: Schematic representation of the six sorption mechanisms, Table S1: Classification of microplastics, Table S2: Surface area parameters of different adsorbents, Table S3: Adsorption mechanism of organic pollutants, Table S4: Adsorption mechanism of inorganic pollutants, and Table S5: Adsorption mechanism of other pollutants [128][129][130][131][132][133][134]. ...
... Supplementary Materials: The following supporting information can be downloaded at: https: //www.mdpi.com/article/10.3390/nano12132256/s1, Figure S1: The process of forming large plastics into microplastics, Figure S2: Schematic representation of the six sorption mechanisms, Table S1: Classification of microplastics, Table S2: Surface area parameters of different adsorbents, Table S3: Adsorption mechanism of organic pollutants, Table S4: Adsorption mechanism of inorganic pollutants, and Table S5: Adsorption mechanism of other pollutants [128][129][130][131][132][133][134]. ...
... Thermodynamic studies in the temperature range of 288 -308 Κ, showed that adsorption was a spontaneous and exothermic process. Gao (PET), PS, PE, PP, and PVC [37]. The experimental data were found to be well fitted to the Langmuir isotherm and equilibrium was attained after 5 days. ...
Article
Microplastics in the environment are becoming ubiquitous and their presence is considered a global threat. There are emerging concerns that microplastics may affect ecosystems via contamination of water, soil and air, and subsequently impact human health either by inhalation of airborne particulates or consumption of contaminated water and food. Moreover, their ingestion by organisms may cause their damage as well as their leachability of their constituent. Furthermore, microplastics are considered potential carriers of various contaminants, due to their considerable adsorption capacity, acting as a means of long-range transportation for contaminants into the environment. Therefore, this work presents a review of recent progress about microplastics as carriers of organic and inorganic emerging contaminants, while studying adsorption kinetics, mechanisms and the applications of different adsorption isotherms. Examples of different contaminants are presented, including additives, heavy metals, persistent organic contaminants, antibiotics, pesticides, and fungicides. Microplastics as carriers may differently affect the transport and the deposition of chemical contaminants such as additives, heavy metals, persistent organic contaminants, antibiotics, pesticides, fungicides, depending on their type, concentration and aging. The most common sorption mechanism of organic contaminants on microplastics is hydrophobic interaction, followed by electrostatic interactions, H-bonding, halogen-bonding and π-π interactions. On the other hand, metal ions are adsorbed mainly by electrostatic interactions and surface complexation. For both organic and inorganic contaminants, adsorption kinetics and isothermal data were better described by the PSO model and the Freundlich isotherm model, respectively.
... Marine pollutants including microplastics are expected to enhance the transfer of radionuclides into the marine organisms and subsequently through the food chain into larger organisms, including humans. Recent studies showed that microplastics act as carriers for hydrophobic organic chemicals [5,6], antibiotics [6,7] and heavy metals [6,8,9], via a complex sorption process [6,[10][11][12][13]. For example, Wang et al. [14] examined the removal of Cd using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) of various particles sizes(1-2 mm, 0.6-1 mm, and 100-154 lm) for Cd adsorption. ...
Article
The adsorption of radionuclides by microplastics (MPs) has been investigated in de-ionized water and seawater after contamination of the test solutions with ultra-trace levels of U-232. The microplastic used were polyethylene (PE), polyamide naylon (PN6) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and the experiments included the effect of pH, contact time and particle size. According to the evaluation of the experimental data obtained (e.g. partition coefficient values, Kd) the sorption efficiency differs significantly from one microplastic to another, the solution pH determines to a large degree the sorption efficiency and the sorption kinetics is basically determined by the radionuclide mass transfer to the surface. In addition, in seawater the adsorption efficiency declines further due to the increased salinity and the presence of competing species. Nevertheless, even under seawater conditions the sorption affinity of the MPs for the radionuclide are significantly higher than those suggested for seawater sediments clearly indicating the cardinal role of microplastics as radionuclide carriers in seawater and other aquatic environments.
... Thanks to their strong hydrophobicity, absorption capacity, and large specific area, MPs are in turn drivers for other contaminants (Ren et al., 2021a) during the seepage processes. In addition to their own toxic additives (Bradney et al., 2019), MPs tend to adsorb and transport a wide range of organic and inorganic hazardous substances like heavy metals, pesticides, bisphenols, and antibiotics Godoy et al., 2019;Selvam et al., 2021;Wu et al., 2019;Li et al., 2018). ...
Article
Groundwater is a primary water source which supplies more than 2 billion people. The increasing population and urbanization of rural areas stresses and depletes the groundwater systems, reducing the groundwater quality. Among the emerging contaminants, microplastics (MPs) are becoming an important issue due to their persistency in the environment. Seepage through the pores and fractures as well as the interaction with colloidal aggregates can partially affect the MPs dynamics in the subsoil, making the detection of the MPs in the groundwater systems challenging. Based on literature, a critical analysis of MPs in groundwater is presented from a hydrogeological point of view. In addition, a review of the MPs data potentially affecting the groundwater systems are included. MPs in groundwater may have several sources, including the atmosphere, the interaction with surface water bodies, urban infrastructures, or agricultural soils. The characterization of both the groundwater dynamics and the heterogeneity of MPs is suggested, proposing a new framework named “Hydrogeoplastic Model”. MPs detection methods aimed at characterizing the smaller fragments are necessary to clarify the fate of these contaminants in the aquifers. This review also aims to support future research on MP contamination in groundwater, pointing out the current knowledge and the future risks which could affect groundwater resources worldwide.
... Plastics are also vectors for pollutants, including organic substances and metals (Bradney et al., 2019;Brennecke et al., 2016;Godoy et al., 2019). Plastic is known to be associated with pollutants such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, and a wide variety of bio-accumulative and toxic substances (Hirai et al., 2011;Mato et al., 2001;Rochman et al., 2014). ...
Article
Environmental contamination due to plastic waste mismanagement is a growing global concern. Plastic problem is of particular concern to the Indian Ocean nations as Asia currently contributes to the highest share of mismanaged plastic waste. Consequently, there is a worldwide interest to understand the distribution and transboundary movement of plastic from this region, which is crucial for implementing management measures. This review article focuses on current knowledge of plastic research, policies, waste management, socio-economics, challenges, and research opportunities. To date, marine plastic studies have focused on a few locations, providing an analysis of distribution and plastic–organism interactions in the Indian marine system. Along with scientific investigation, enforcement, improvisation, and, if necessary, framing new policies, integrated technologies to manage plastic waste, and behavioural changes are essential to mitigate plastic pollution. Such measures will be effective through a combination of actions among national and international researchers, industries, environmental managers, and the public.
... Physical effects are most often related to the size and shape of MPs, while the chemical effects are related to the fact that plastic carries a "cocktail of chemicals" with it (Browne et al. 2011). Among the chemicals present in MPs are those incorporated into plastic polymers during their production (various additives) and those present in water that are adsorbed on the surface of MPs, such as various organic and inorganic pollutants (Godoy et al. 2019). ...
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Purpose Plastic pollution in the world has led to an abundance of microplastics (MPs) and has been identified as a potential factor that can lead to serious environmental problems, especially in oceans and seas. Information on the current status of MPs pollution along the Montenegrin coast is insufficiently investigated. This study monitors the abundance, distribution, and sources of MPs, and identifies present polymers in the surface sediment of the Montenegrin coast, as well as comparison with previous research. Materials and methods Ten sampling sites along the Montenegrin coast were selected to collect surface sediment samples. The upper layer of sediment (0–5 cm) was collected by a Petite ponar grab. The samples were dried, and density separation was performed using a NaCl solution. The abundance and morphological characteristics of MPs were determined using an optical microscope (DP-Soft software), while FT-IR analysis was done to identify the polymer type. Results and discussion Microplastics were identified in all sediment samples with an average abundance of 307 ± 133 (SD) MPs/kg in dry sediment. The highest abundance of MPs was found in locations in the vicinity of highly populated areas, near wastewater discharges, and areas with high fishing and tourist activities. The most dominant shape types of MPs in all samples were filaments and fragments. The most common colors of MPs were blue and red, while the dominant MPs sizes were 0.1–0.5 mm and 0.5–1.0 mm. Of the eight identified polymers, PP, PE, and PET were the most common. Conclusion This study reveals MPs characteristics (abundance, distribution, shape type, colors, size, polymers type) in surface sediment along the Montenegrin coast, as well as the most significant sources of MPs pollution, and provides important data for further research on MPs to identify the effects of MPs pollution on the quality, health, and functionality of the marine environment.
... The effects of plastics, in particular MPs, on marine organisms and ecosystems are generally associated with dead animals, weakened by the ingestion of these non biodegradable materials, and cause stomach disruption or altering other functions of organisms, such as feeding, respiration, and reproduction (Van Franeker, 1985). However, the concerns about MPs extend beyond ingestion, because they can act as transport vectors for other pollutants such as persistent organic compounds and metals (Godoy et al., 2019), which can be transferred through the trophic chain (Setälä et al., 2014). Scientific and social concerns are growing regarding the effects of MPs, both in terms of wild biota and organisms consumed by humans (Anderson et al., 2016). ...
Article
The omnipresence of microplastics (MPs) in marine and coastal environments has attracted attention owing to their effects on various organisms, including humans. We present the first study of MPs in the gastrointestinal tract (GT), gills (GI), and exoskeleton (EX) of the farmed whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei from commercial aquaculture facilities in northwestern Mexico that have operated semi-intensively for the last two decades. We found that the number of MP items per tissue was 7.6 ± 0.6 in the GT, 6.3 ± 0.9 in the GI, and 4.3 ± 0.9 in the EX, with an average of 18.5 ± 1.2 MP items per shrimp (1.06 items/g, wet weight [ww]). MP concentrations were 261.7 ± 84.5, 13.1 ± 1.8, and 2.6 ± 0.6 items/g (ww) in the GT, GI, and EX, respectively. Microplastics ranged from 30 to 2800 μm in size (360 ± 39 μm) with fibers (∼90.8%), filament-shape (∼93.4%), and transparent (∼47.7%) being the most common ones. Polyethylene (∼54.5%) and polyamide (∼24.2%) were the most commonly identified polymers, although polyesters (∼12.1%), polystyrene (∼6.1%), and nylon (∼3.0%) were also found. The abundance of MPs in farmed L. vannamei may be related to their feeding habits and the availability of MP sources in aquaculture facilities.
... From the plastics in surface layer of oceans, 83.7% are macroplastics (>5 mm), 13.8% are microplastics (335 μm−5 mm), and 2.5% are nanoplastics (<0.335 mm) (Koelmans et al., 2017). The micro and nanoplastics can sorb potentially toxic organic molecules (N ä kki et al., 2021;Wu et al., 2016;Liu et al., 2019;Xu et al., 2019;Zhan et al., 2016;Lee et al., 2014;Guo et al., 2012) and heavy metals in the environment (Yang et al., 2019;Godoy et al., 2019;Guo and Wang, 2021). They increase the life time of persistent organic pollutants in the environment (Jambeck et al., 2015). ...
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To prevent the COVID-19 transmission, personal protective equipment (PPE) and packaging materials have been extensively used but often managed inappropriately, generating huge amount of plastic waste. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the plastic products utilized and the types and amounts of plastic waste generated since the outbreak of COVID-19, and reviewed the potential treatments for these plastic wastes. Upcycling of plastic waste into biochar was addressed from the perspectives of both environmental protection and practical applications, which can be verified as promising materials for environmental protections and energy storages. Moreover, novel upcycling of plastic waste into biochar is beneficial to mitigate the ubiquitous plastic pollution, avoiding harmful impacts on human and ecosystem through direct and indirect micro-/nano-plastic transmission routes, and achieving the sustainable plastic waste management for value-added products, simultaneously. This suggests that the plastic waste could be treated as a valuable resource in an advanced and green manner.
... It has been well-described that MP can adsorb chemical pollutants and transfer them along with multiple environmental compartments, including organisms. Thus, MP act as carriers for both organics (e.g., pesticides, hydrocarbons, detergents, oils, pharmaceuticals) and inorganic (e.g., heavy metals (HMs) contaminants (Godoy et al., 2019). The interaction of those contaminants with MP depends on polymer type (Ioannidis et al., 2022), hydrophobicity , and relative surface area (Wu et al., 2022). ...
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Microplastics (MP) are ubiquitous contaminants of great concern due to their high persistence and potential hazardous impact on the environment. Depending on their size and shape, as well as the chemical additives they can have in their polymeric structure, MP can be taken up by organisms, ultimately leading to direct and indirect toxic effects. In this review, we discuss the primary sources, fate, and impact of MP on the rhizosphere ecology, focusing in particular on how soil physical-chemical properties, plant physiology, and soil biodiversity are modulated by the interaction of MP in the plant-soil system. Current knowledge on soil ecotoxicology shows that MP directly affects soil quality and fertility via alteration of soil nutrient cycling and microbial communities and indirectly by changing soil bulk density, pH, porosity, electric conductivity, and nutrient bioavailability. MP is also known to affect soil animals by altering their feeding, mobility, and reproductive behavior. Toxic effects of MP on the multiple and co-occurring interactions among the soil, soil organisms and plants, particularly in the long-term, remain unstudied. Indeed, a better understanding of rhizosphere-MP interactions at a functional level (e.g., nutrient availability, pollutant immobilization, root exudates, etc.) is urgently needed to develop risk assessment frameworks of soil pollution by MP.
... microplastic may also be ingested into the human body indirectly triggering adverse health effects (Barboza et al., 2018;Seth and Shriwastav, 2018). The enhanced complexity and toxicity of the seawater due to shipwreck and increased surface area of weathered plastics would influence the affinity to interact with a variety of contaminants (Zhang et al., 2020) such as hydrophobic organic pollutants (Koelmans et al., 2016;Liu et al., 2019;Wang et al., 2020), and metal contaminants facilitating their trophic transport (Fu et al., 2021;Godoy et al., 2019;Prunier et al., 2019;Purwiyanto et al., 2020). The inclusion of partially burnt epoxy resins in the both beach sand and seawater may be a source of bisphenol A (BPA) (Cantoni et al., 2021;Gibson, 2017). ...
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The objectives of the research was to assess the coastal pollution by plastic nurdles, pyrolitic debris, associated potential toxic elements (PTEs) concentrations and mitigatory efforts by the worst ever maritime accident of a chemical and plastic boarded container vessel; MV X-press Pearl. Field sampling was carried out three times during May, June, and September 2021 at Sarakkuwa, Sri Lanka. Pellet pollution index (PPI) was determined to compare the degree of plastics pollution. Density separation (NaCl) followed by wet peroxide digestion for plastic separation and characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetric (DSC) analysis. Sand and plastics samples were digested and analyzed for PTEs (Li, Mo, Cr, Pb, Cd), are suspect to mix during disaster. Identified debris were mostly confirmed as low-density polyethylene, epoxy resins, olefin copolymers, aromatic polyamides, natural rubber, and polyethylene terephthalate. Sulfur contamination and physical erosion were observed in nurdles received in June and September. Calculated PPIs was ‘high’ for Sarakkuwa beach even in September with a very high pellet pollution degree (10.24 pellets per m²) compared to the control obtained from the same site in 2020 (1.6 pellets per m²). Input sand for the blue treatment facility was found as the extremely contaminated with Li and Mo - with 239.71 and 1.69 mg/kg respectively other than microplastics. Blue treatment facility seemed effective in physical separation of microplastics from sand, however, it is an exhausting process due to continuous receive of microplastics from the waves and excavation of sea shore.
... Therefore, increasing interest is being addressed towards the potential role of MNPLs as carriers for other contaminants. MNPLs' surface features give them the capacity to interact with and adsorb other compounds, such as heavy metals [13,14], or organic pollutants [15,16]. Interestingly, cadmium, titanium, and lead have already been detected in MNPL samples collected in marine ecosystems [17], and traces of arsenic, titanium, nickel, and cadmium have been identified in polyethylene debris from the North Atlantic subtropical gyre [18]. ...
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The increasing accumulation of plastic waste and the widespread presence of its derivatives, micro- and nanoplastics (MNPLs), call for an urgent evaluation of their potential health risks. In the environment, MNPLs coexist with other known hazardous contaminants and, thus, an interesting question arises as to whether MNPLs can act as carriers of such pollutants, modulating their uptake and their harmful effects. In this context, we have examined the interaction and joint effects of two relevant water contaminants: arsenic and polystyrene nanoplastics (PSNPLs), the latter being a model of nanoplastics. Since both agents are persistent pollutants, their potential effects have been evaluated under a chronic exposure scenario and measuring different effect biomarkers involved in the cell transformation process. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts deficient for oxidative DNA damage repair mechanisms, and showing a cell transformation status, were used as a sensitive cell model. Such cells were exposed to PSNPLs, arsenic, and a combination PSNPLs/arsenic for 12 weeks. Interestingly, a physical interaction between both pollutants was demonstrated by using TEM/EDX methodologies. Results also indicate that the continuous co-exposure enhances the DNA damage and the aggressive features of the initially transformed phenotype. Remarkably, co-exposed cells present a higher proportion of spindle-like cells within the population, an increased capacity to grow independently of anchorage, as well as enhanced migrating and invading potential when compared to cells exposed to arsenic or PSNPLs alone. This study highlights the need for further studies exploring the long-term effects of contaminants of emerging concern, such as MNPLs, and the importance of considering the behavior of mixtures as part of the hazard and human risk assessment approaches.
... Nevertheless, further study is needed, because it is important to analyze the metal-plastic relationship using theoretical and experimental chemistry. Godoy et al. (2019) point out that if a MP has a higher specific surface area and porosity, the concentration of the associated contaminants will be much higher, and similar results have been reported by other researchers (Wang and Wang, 2018;Brennecke et al., 2016;Li et al., 2018;Wang et al., 2020;Sun et al., 2020). The results of this study agree with those findings, as surface area and metal accumulation varied both by polymer type and shape; PE particles (SA1, SA3, MA2 and MD5) had higher surface area and greater accumulation of metals than the PP particles (SA6, SA8, MA4, MA3 and MU4), and fragments (SA1, SA2, SA3 and SA6) had more accumulated elements than films and fibers, as was expected based on the higher roughness of the fragments (Fig. 4). ...
Article
The present study establishes a new procedure to characterize micro(nano)plastics (MNPs) and identify contaminants adhered to the plastic particles in aquatic environments by applying ultra-high resolution microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. Naturally fragmented microplastics (MPs) were collected from Manzanillo and Santiago Bays, Mexico and analyzed using: Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM), Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), μ-RAMAN, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Environmental Electron Scanning Microscopy (ESEM). The information obtained from each of these techniques was integrated to produce a comprehensive profile of each particle. Sample preparation was tested by applying three different rinses (unrinsed, distilled water and alcohol) to untreated MPs collected from Manzanillo Bay, finding that when large impurities are present an alcohol rinse makes it easier to examine the associated contaminants. Based on this emerging methodology, polyethylene and polypropylene MPs were identified with associated contaminants such as arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, and benzene. This study demonstrates the presence of pollutants that may be linked to MNPs in aquatic ecosystems and proposes an accurate relatively fast procedure for their analysis that does not require chemical extraction.
... The chemical characteristics of the smaller fragments are different from their larger counterparts because the degradation process makes them more polar and mobile, and, therefore, more prone to interact with the biota . Besides, small plastic fragments interact more easily with other pollutants due to their higher specific surface thereby originating a carrier effect for potentially toxic substances (Anastopoulos et al., 2021;Godoy et al., 2019). This work addresses the fragmentation and degradation of plastic fragments from real marine debris consisting of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS), when exposed to mechanical agitation and accelerated ageing by means of UV irradiation and mechanical stirring. ...
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The generation of small fragments from the environmental ageing of microplastics (MPs) is still a poorly known process. This work addresses the fragmentation of MPs obtained from marine debris consisting of polyethylene and polypropylene (PE and PP in environmental mixture) and polystyrene (PS) after exposure to accelerated ageing by irradiation and mechanical stirring. Number particle size distribution in the 1–100 μm range was assessed by combining laser diffractometry with particle counts from flow cytometry. The results showed the generation of a high number of small MP particles, which reached 105–106 items/mg of plastic with most fragments <2 μm. The results showed that environmentally aged MPs give rise to a larger number of small MPs in a pattern consistent with progressive fragmentation in the three spatial dimensions. The proportion of small MPs was much higher than that found in current sampling campaigns, suggesting a severe underestimation of the environmental presence of small MPs. We also demonstrated the generation of nanoplastics (NPs) in the fraction <1 μm from irradiated runs. The results showed that the mechanism that produced nanoplastics (NPs) from MPs was irradiation, which yielded up to 1011–1013 NPs/g with particle size in the few hundreds of nm range. Our results are relevant for the assessment of fate and risk of plastic debris in the environment showing that the number of small plastic fragments produced during the ageing of MPs is much larger than expect from the extrapolation of larger size populations.
... Such a carrier mechanism can be easily assumed for substances absorbed on or contained in MPs, following inhalation. Several different synthetic polymers have been shown to carry different toxic metals (51,52), including redox-active Cu-ions. The absorption of metals on MPs has also been shown to affect the kinetics and toxicity of both metals and particles in Daphna magnia (53) and Zebrafish embryos (54), but little data using human target cells are available. ...
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Ambient particulate pollution originating from plastic contaminates air, including indoor and urban environments. The recent discovery of ambient microplastic (MP) particles of a size capable of depositing in the thoracic region of the airway, if inhaled, has raised concern for public exposure and health impacts following lessons learned from other particle domains. Current microplastic exposure estimates are relatively low compared to total ambient particulate matter, but optimal analytical techniques and therefore data for risk and health impact assessments are lacking. In the absence of such an evidence base, this paper explores paradigms, metrics and dose-response curves developed in other particle domains as a starting point for predicting whether microplastic are of concern. Bio-persistence, presence of reactive sites and soluble toxicants are likely key properties in microplastic toxicity, but these are not measured in environmental studies and hence are challenging to interpret in exposure. Data from a MP inhalation study in rats is available but the study was conducted using conditions that do not replicate the known human health effects of PM 2.5 or surrogate exposures: compromised, aged animal models are recommended to investigate potential parallels between MPs and PM 2.5 . One of these parallels is provided by tire wear particles (TWP), which form part of current ambient PM and are sometimes regarded as microplastic. A connection to epidemiological studies where PM filters are still available is recommended and consequently analytical advances are required. In summary, established particle domains and existing paradigms provide valuable insight and data that can be used to predict MP toxicity, and direct study design and key properties to consider in this emerging field.
... As a carrier of environmental metal elements, micro/nanoplastics increase their migration ability in the environment and the corresponding environmental risks (Naik et al., 2019;Yu et al., 2019). Pb, chromium, and Zn have obvious adsorption on microplastics on polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride, and Al, Fe, Cu, Pb, and Zn adsorption levels can be as high as 300 pg/g (Godoy et al., 2019;Holmes et al., 2012). In addition, the biofilms formed on the surface of microplastics promote their adsorption of metals (Richard et al., 2019). ...
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Micro/nanoplastic has become an emerging pollutant of global concern. At present, ecotoxic researches on micro/nanoplastics mostly focus on marine aquatic organisms and freshwater algae. Research on the ecological impacts of plastics on higher terrestrial plants, especially on forest plants, is relatively limited. Torreya grandis cv. Merrillii, a species of conifer in the family Taxaceae, is a unique and economically valuable tree species in China. The physiological and biochemical responses of T. grandis seedlings to polystyrene nanoplastics (PSNPs) with a diameter of 100 nm were systematically studied inthe present study. The results showed that nanoplastics enhanced the accumulation of the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance and the activities of catalase and peroxidase. The concentrations of iron, sulfur, and zinc were reduced after nanoplastic exposure. PSNP treatment had an important effect on a series of chemical and genetic indicators of T. grandis, includingantioxidants, small RNA, gene transcription, protein expressions, and metabolite accumulation. Multi-omic analysis revealed that PSNPs modulate terpenoid- and flavonoid-biosynthesis pathways by regulating small RNA transcription and protein expression. Our study provided novelty insights into the responses of forest plants to nanoplastic treatment.
... MP concentrations were highest in the water near the main inlet (S1) and floating restaurant (S5), and the sediments near the densely populated water hyacinth area (S2). the edible tissues of fishes and potentially enter the food chain (Godoy et al., 2019). Therefore, incidents of biomagnification are extremely likely to occur, which poses complex and dangerous consequences. ...
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The sustainability of the Rawa Jombor Reservoir (RJR) in Indonesia is threatened by microplastic (MP) pollution. This issue requires critical investigation owing to possible detrimental consequences in humans, especially due to the growing concern regarding the adsorption of hazardous compounds by MPs. This study investigated the accumulation and characteristics of MPs in aquatic fauna (zooplankton, benthos, and fish), water samples, and sediments of the RJR, determined their interactions with heavy metals (HMs) (Cd, Cu, Zn, and Pb), and assessed their potential risk. The MPs extracted from aquatic fauna were characterized by stereomicroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscope energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM–EDS), and flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS). Their potential risk was assessed from the polymer hazard index (PHI), pollution load index (PLI), potential ecological risk index (PERI), estimated daily intake (EDI), target hazard quotient (THQ), total target hazard quotient (TTHQ), and target cancer risk (TR). MP concentrations were highest in the water near the main inlet (S1) and floating restaurant (S5), and the sediments near the densely populated water hyacinth area (S2). The pattern of MP accumulation in aquatic fauna, except the benthos, was similar to that of the MP concentrations in water. The MPs adsorbed high concentrations of HMs on their surface. MP concentrations in aquatic fauna increased through the food chains, indicating possible biomagnification. The fishes were safe for consumption, but their long-term consumption may induce cancer, primarily due to Cd. Therefore, the management of plastic waste by involving all stakeholders is crucial for mitigating this issue.
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Microplastics are the critical carriers of heavy metals in the environment. Thus, investigating the adsorption mechanisms between the microplastics and heavy metals is helpful to understand the migration and transformation pattern of the heavy metals in the environment. The adsorption of microplastics towards heavy metals can be largely affected by natural aging (e.g., UV-aging), environmental pH, and salinity. In this study, the adsorption of polystyrene (PS) towards Cu²⁺ and the effects of UV-aging, environment pH, and salinity on the adsorption were systematically investigated. The results show that the adsorption capacity of PS towards Cu²⁺ increased with the UV-aging time, as UV-aging increased the microcracks and oxygen-containing functional groups on the surface of the PS. Adsorption kinetics data followed the pseudo-second-order model, indicating that the interaction between PS and Cu²⁺ is chemical adsorption. Adsorption isotherms data could be well-described by both the Langmuir and Freundlich models, indicating that the adsorption was multilayer adsorption. As the solution pH and salinity can influence the surface charge of the PS, they could also affect the performance of the PS on Cu²⁺ adsorption. High pH facilitated the adsorption of PS towards Cu²⁺, while high salinity (above 1‰) inhibited the adsorption.
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Plastic waste is an environmental problematic, not only because of its own contamination, but also because it can act as a vector for other pollutants, particularly metals. In this work, taking advantage of the sensitivity of the LIBS technique, the presence of copper in plastics and microplastics present in a stream that receives effluents from a medium-sized city was determined. The influence of the digestion process on the collected samples was analyzed. On the other hand, copper retention in commonly used plastics submerged in stream water and in a solution prepared in the laboratory was analyzed. This study confirms that both macroplastics and microplastics collected from a stream that receives effluents from a city, can retain copper.
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In this study, zebrafish embryos were exposed to microplastics (MPs, 2 mg/L) and copper (Cu, 60 and 125 μg/L), alone or combined, for 14 days, and the development of motor neurons was assessed through gene expression and immunohistochemistry. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) genes expression was also evaluated. The results showed a downregulation of neuronal proliferation (sox2, pcna), neurogenesis (neuroD, olig2), and motor neurons development (islet) related genes, implying potential deficits in the neurogenesis of the exposed zebrafish early life stages. Downregulation of the maintenance and de novo DNMTs expression was also found, indicating that the DNA methylation patterns could be modulated by MPs and Cu. A high relative volume of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive cells was found in the fish retina from the MPs exposed group, suggesting that MPs increased the rate of cellular division. In contrast, a significant decrease of PCNA-positive cells, and therefore a lower cell proliferation, was found in the retina and brain of zebrafish exposed to Cu and Cu + MPs, which could lead to cognitive and behavioral functions impairment. No alterations were found in the relative volume of ISL1&2-positive cells. This study contributes to the knowledge of the mechanisms by which MPs and Cu cause neurotoxicity, fundamental for a comprehensive and realistic ecological risk assessment in aquatic populations.
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Microplastics (MPs) released into soil environments, along with the existing pollutants in soil, may have adverse effects on plants. However, the chronic effects of MPs in soils contaminated with heavy metals on crop plants remain unidentified. This study aimed to investigate the chronic effects of MPs (polystyrene, 20 nm) on the reproductive and nutritional status of pea crop plant (Pisum sativum) grown in Cu- (40 mg/kg) and MP-contaminated soils (40, 20 mg/kg). The crop yield reduced in all groups, with an evident decrease in the complex exposure group (comprising MPs and Cu). Moreover, significant changes in plants were identified regarding the weight, color, amino acids, and protein content of peas. Nutrient content in beans increased by MP exposure in single and complex exposure groups. Cu accumulation did not differ in the presence and absence of MPs. Additionally, MPs that infiltrated into incomplete casparian strips during root formation translocated into aerial parts via the apoplast pathway along the cell walls of the vascular bundle. Therefore, long-term exposure to MPs in soil can significantly affect plants with severe effects from complex exposure with Cu. The changes in the crop quality and nutrient contents may in turn affect human health through the food chain.
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Microplastics (MPs) are emerging global contaminants, attracting more and more attention because of their difficulty in degradation, extensive and persistent pollution. In freshwater environment, especially in the ocean, they have become a global, public and even political research hotspot. However, the distribution, fate and ecological hazards of MPs in agricultural land and other soils have not been explored fully. Although the occurrence of MPs in different habitats has been reviewed at home and abroad, little attention has been paid to its environmental behavior, ecotoxicology and interaction with biological and chemical pollutants in soil. This review summaries the research progress on the source, accumulation, degradation and migration of MPs in soil, the potential risks of ecological environment and food chain. In order to provide theoretical basis and practical suggestions for related research and regulatory countermeasures, the detection and treatment methods and mechanism of microplastics in soil need to be further explored.
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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.
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With the rapid increase in the use of plastic films, microplastic (MP) pollution in agricultural soils has become a global environmental problem. Propiconazole is widely used in agriculture and horticulture; however, its role in plastic film degradation remains elusive. Butylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) and polyethylene (PE) films were used to analyze the effects of propiconazole on plastic film and MP degradation. We identified the surface morphologies of PBAT and PE at different propiconazole concentrations and soil pH values, as well as the adsorption and release characteristics of heavy metals during the degradation process via scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Propiconazole accelerated the degradation of MPs, adsorption of heavy metals (Ni and Zn), and release of Sn at low concentrations (≤40 mg/kg); however, these effects were evidently absent at a high concentration (120 mg/kg). Furthermore, MPs were more prone to degradation in acidic or alkaline soils than in neutral soil when they coexisted with propiconazole. Hence, we suggest that PBAT and PE plastic films may not be suitable for application in acidic and alkaline soils with propiconazole, because of shorter rupture time and more heavy metal adsorption. PBAT degraded faster, absorbed and released more heavy metals than PE. Under all tested conditions, the heavy metal contents in MPs gradually approached those in soil, which proves that MPs are carriers of heavy metal pollutants. These results may help in assessing the impact of MPs on soil environments and provide a theoretical basis for the standardized propiconazole and plastic film usage.
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The enrichment of various pollutants in mangrove has attracted widespread attention. Especially, microplastics accumulation in mangrove may provide a more challenging ecological colonization site by enriching pollutants, thus affecting the change of microplastics antibiotic resistance and increasing the risk of antibiotic failure. Herein, the antibiotic-resistant of microplastics and sediment from mangrove were investigated. The results show that isolates are mainly colonized by Vibrio parahemolyticus (V. parahemolyticus), Vibrio alginolyticus (V. alginolyticus), and Shewanella. 100% mangrove microplastics isolates are resistant to chloramphenicol, cefazolin, and tetracycline, especially amoxicillin clavulanate and ampicillin. Meanwhile, the multiple antibiotics resistance (MAR) indexes of V. parahaemolyticus, Shewanella, and V. alginolyticus in mangrove microplastics are 0.72, 0.77, and 0.77, respectively, which are far higher than the MAR index standard (0.2) and that of mangrove sediment isolates. Furthermore, compared with V. parahaemolyticus isolated from the same mangrove microplastics, Shewanella and V. alginolyticus show stronger drug resistance. It should be noted that there is a closely related relationship between the type of microplastics and the antibiotics resistance of isolated bacteria. For the antibiotics sensitivity test of norfloxacin, streptomycin, amoxicillin, and chloramphenicol, V. parahaemolyticus have the lower antibiotics resistance than that of V. alginolyticus isolated from the same mangrove microplastics. However, Vibrio isolated from PE has stronger antibiotics resistance. Results reveal that mangrove may be one of the potential risks for emergence and spread of bacterial antibiotics-resistant and multidrug-resistant, and microplastic biofilms may act as promoters of bacterial antibiotic resistance.
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Developing green, sustainable, and low-cost adsorbents for removing heavy metals from wastewater while recycling food wastes can avoid secondary environmental damage. In this work, artificial humic acid (A-HA) was prepared through biological fermentation using food wastes as raw materials with the goal to remove Pb (II) and Cd (II) from aqueous solution. The results showed that Pb (II) adsorption by A-HA was superior to that of Cd (II). Electrostatic interaction, surface complexation, ion exchange, and π–π interaction played key roles in the adsorption and desorption of A-HA for Pb (II) and Cd (II). The Langmuir isothermal adsorption model was more suitable for the adsorption of Pb (II) and Cd (II) by A-HA, and at 45 °C, maximum adsorption capacities were 37.6 mg/g and 3.33 mg/g, respectively. The adsorption kinetics of Pb (II) and Cd (II) by A-HA showed good fit with the pseudo-first-order kinetic model. The adsorption capacities of A-HA for Pb (II) and Cd (II) first increased gradually and finally stabilized with increasing initial concentration of adsorbate. In the pH range of 1–7, the adsorption capacities of A-HA for Pb (II) and Cd (II) first increased and remained stable. However, the adsorption capacities were inhibited by increasing ionic strength. Under optimal adsorption conditions, very little Pb (II) and Cd (II) were desorbed. In summary, A-HA might be a promising and effective adsorbent for metal removal because of its environmental friendliness, low cost, and its origin from food wastes as raw materials.
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Drug chirality is attracting increasing attention because the enantiomers of the same chiral pharmaceutical usually exhibit different biological activities, metabolic pathways, and toxicities. The ubiquitous presence of microplastics (MPs) can enrich organic pollutants commonly found in the environment. However, knowledge about the enrichment of pharmaceutical enantiomers to MPs is relatively limited. We investigated the occurrence of enantioselectivity of ofloxacin (OFL) and levofloxacin (LEV) in the adsorption processes on polyethylene (PE) and the interactions influenced by environmental factors. The results showed that the adsorption efficiency of OFL was generally 3–5% (p < 0.05) higher than that of LEV, indicating the different affinities of the enantiomers to PE, but the adsorption process of OFL and LEV on PE was both well described by pseudo-first-order kinetics and liner isotherm models. The chirality of OFL and LEV was not affected by sizes of PE particles and solution salinity due to the identical physicochemical properties. An examination of pH effect indicated that OFL showed better acid-base adaptability than LEV. Moreover, the differences in enantiomeric enrichment between OFL and LEV on PE were promoted with increasing UV light exposure time and natural organic matter (NOM) concentrations. Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), we demonstrated that the constituents of the functional groups in chiral NOM were greatly related to the enantiomer stereoselectivity of OFL, subsequently affecting their adsorption in a chiral environment. The excitation-emission matrix (EEM) spectra confirmed the enantioselective behaviors of chiral pharmaceuticals under UV light due to the different optical activity and humic acid-like and fulvic acid-like molecular structure of the enantiomers. These findings imply that the enantioselectivity of drug enantiomers should be considered in presence of microplastics, leading to a more accurate environmental fate and risks assessments of chiral pharmaceuticals.
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The behavior of microplastics (MPs) as vectors of environmental contaminants in aquatic systems can change the fate and transport of some toxic substances and promote their diffusion and bioenrichment. Therefore, our study investigated the adsorption of two kinds of metal ions [Pb(II) and Cd(II)] by polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) in aqueous solution and the desorption of metal ions in the gastrointestinal environment. Our findings indicated that pH, humic acid, and particle size are key factors affecting the adsorption of metal ions on MPs. The adsorption capacity of Pb(II) and Cd(II) on MPs increases as pH increases, and the presence of humic acid significantly inhibits the adsorption of metal ions on MPs. In a simulated gastrointestinal environment, the desorption rates of the two metal ions on MPs were high and controlled by the MP particle size, suggesting a possible toxicological risk for organisms after ingestion of metal-contaminated microplastics.
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The neptunium sorption by different microplastic materials (MPs) has been studied in laboratory water and seawater samples, which had been previously traced with the Np-237 radionuclide. The microplastics used were polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyamide nylon (PN6), and the investigations included the pH effect and seawater composition on the sorption efficiency. The evaluation of the experimental data (Kd values) revealed thet the sorption efficiency does not differ significantly from one microplastic to another and mainly the hydrolysis of Np(V) in alkaline conditions affects the sorption efficiency. In seawater the Kd values decline dramatically because of the increased ionic strength (salinity) and the occurrence of various cations (e.g. Ca²⁺, Fe²⁺), which effectively compete Np(V) sorption by the MPs.
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Persistent plastics, with an estimated lifetime for degradation of hundreds of years in marine conditions, can break up into micro- and nanoplastics over shorter timescales, thus facilitating their uptake by marine biota throughout the food chain. These polymers may contain chemical additives and contaminants, including some known endocrine disruptors that may be harmful at extremely low concentrations for marine biota, thus posing potential risks to marine ecosystems, biodiversity and food availability. Although there is still need to carry out focused scientific research to fill the knowledge gaps about the impacts of plastic litter in the marine environment (Wagner et al. in Environ Sci Eur 26:9, 2014), the food chain and human health, existing scientific evidence and concerns are already sufficient to support actions by the scientific, industry, policy and civil society communities to curb the ongoing flow of plastics and the toxic chemicals they contain into the marine environment. Without immediate strong preventive measures, the environmental impacts and the economic costs are set only to become worse, even in the short term. Continued increases in plastic production and consumption, combined with wasteful uses, inefficient waste collection infrastructures and insufficient waste management facilities, especially in developing countries, mean that even achieving already established objectives for reductions in marine litter remains a huge challenge, and one unlikely to be met without a fundamental rethink of the ways in which we consume plastics. This document was prepared by a working group of Regional Centres of the Stockholm and Basel Conventions and related colleagues intended to be a background document for discussion in the 2017 Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Basel Convention on hazardous wastes and the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The COP finally approved that the issue of plastic waste could be dealt by its Regional Centres and consistently report their activities on the matter to next COP’s meetings.
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Over the last 60 years plastics production has increased manifold, owing to their inexpensive, multipurpose, durable and lightweight nature. These characteristics have raised their demand that will continue to grow over the coming years. However, with increased plastic materials production, comes increased plastic material wastage creating a number of challenges, as well as opportunities to the waste management industry. The present overview highlights the waste management and pollution challenges, emphasising on the various chemical substances (known as "additives") contained in all plastic products for enhancing polymer properties and prolonging their life. Despite how useful these additives are in determining the functionality of polymer products, their potential to contaminate soil, air, water and food is widely documented in the literature and described herein. These additives can potentially migrate and undesirably lead to human exposure via, e.g. food contact materials, such as packaging. They can, also, be released from plastics during the various recycling and recovery processes and from the products produced from recyclate. Thus, sound recycling has to be performed in such a way as to ensure that emission of substances of high concern and contamination of recycled products is avoided, ensuring environmental and human health protection, at all times.
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Plastics have outgrown most man-made materials and have long been under environmental scrutiny. However, robust global information, particularly about their end-of-life fate, is lacking. By identifying and synthesizing dispersed data on production, use, and end-of-life management of polymer resins, synthetic fibers, and additives, we present the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured. We estimate that 8300 million metric tons (Mt) as of virgin plastics have been produced to date. As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.
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The aim of this study was to determine the concentration of heavy metals in the sediments of Periyakalapet to Parangipettai coast, east coast of Tamil Nadu, by using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) technique. The average heavy metal concentrations in the sediment samples were found in the order Al > Fe > Ca > Ti > K > Mg > Mn > Ba > V > Cr > Zn > La > Ni > Pb > Co > Cd > Cu. The average heavy metal concentrations were below the world crustal average. The degree of contamination by heavy metals was evaluated using pollution indices. The results of pollution indices revealed that titanium (Ti) and cadmium (Cd) were significantly enriched in sediments. Pearson correlation analysis was performed among heavy metal concentrations to know the existing relationship between them. Multivariate statistical technique was employed to identify the heavy metal pollution sources.
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Microplastics are widespread contaminants in terrestrial environments but comparatively little is known about interactions between microplastics and common terrestrial contaminants such as zinc (Zn). In adsorption experiments fragmented HDPE bags c. 1 mm2 in size showed similar sorption characteristics to soil. However, when present in combination with soil, concentrations of adsorbed Zn on a per mass basis were over an order of magnitude lower on microplastics . Desorption of the Zn was minimal from both microplastics and soil in synthetic soil solution (0.01 M CaCl2), but in synthetic earthworm guts desorption was higher from microplastics (40 - 60%) than soil (2 - 15 %), suggesting microplastics could increase Zn bioavailability. Individual Lumbricus terrestris earthworms exposed for 28 days in mesocosms of 260 g moist soil containing 0.35 wt% of Zn-bearing microplastic (236-4505 mg kg-1) ingested the microplastics, but there was no evidence of Zn accumulation, mortality or weight change. Digestion of the earthworms showed that they did not retain microplastics in their gut. These findings indicate that microplastics could act as vectors to increase metal exposure in earthworms, but that the associated risk is unlikely to be significant for essential metals such as Zn that are well regulated by metabolic processes.
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Microplastics have been increasingly detected and quantified in marine and freshwater environments, and there are growing concerns about potential effects in biota. A literature review was conducted to summarize the current state of knowledge of microplastics in Canadian aquatic environments; specifically, the sources, environmental fate, behaviour, abundance, and toxicological effects in aquatic organisms. While we found that research and publications on these topics have increased dramatically since 2010, relatively few studies have assessed the presence, fate, and effects of microplastics in Canadian water bodies. We suggest that efforts to determine aquatic receptors at greatest risk of detrimental effects due to microplastic exposure, and their associated contaminants, are particularly warranted. There is also a need to address the gaps identified, with a particular focus on the species and conditions found in Canadian aquatic systems. These gaps include characterization of the presence of microplastics in Canadian freshwater ecosystems, identifying key sources of microplastics to these systems, and evaluating the presence of microplastics in Arctic waters and biota.
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Marine plastics have shown to contain various environmental chemicals. For evaluating the potential of plastics to influence regional and global dynamics of these chemicals and to serve as a vector to marine biota, understanding of sorption and desorption of chemicals by plastics is important. In this chapter, the equilibrium sorption of neutral organic chemicals from water to plastics is discussed. First, the basic principles of equilibrium sorption are explained, and then, factors that influence the magnitude of the sorption coefficient, such as types of plastics and chemicals, temperature, coexisting organic and inorganic constituents in water, are overviewed. Successively, effects on the equilibrium sorption properties of field-relevant mechanisms such as degradation and biofouling as well as nano-sized plastics are discussed. It is evident that studies on sorption properties of aged plastics in field conditions are far less available than those of intact plastics in laboratory conditions.
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The prevalence of microplastics (<5 mm) in natural environments has become a widely recognised global problem. Microplastics have been shown to sorb chemical pollutants from their surrounding environment, thus raising concern as to their role in the movement of these pollutants through the food chain. This experiment investigated whether organic pollutants sorbed to microbeads (MBs) from personal care products were assimilated by fish following particle ingestion. Rainbow fish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis) were exposed to MBs with sorbed PBDEs (BDE-28, -47, -100, -99, -153, -154, -183 200 ng g-1; BDE-209 2000 ng g-1) and sampled at 0, 21, 42 and 63 days along with two control treatments (Food Only and Food + Clean MBs). Exposed fish had significantly higher ∑8PBDE concentrations than both control treatments after just 21 days, and continued exposure resulted in increased accumulation of the pollutants over the experiment (ca. 115 pg g-1 ww d-1). Lower brominated congeners showed highest assimilation whereas higher brominated congeners did not appear to transfer, indicating they may be too strongly sorbed to the plastic or unable to be assimilated by the fish due to large molecular size or other factors. Seemingly against this trend, however, BDE-99 did not appear to bioaccumulate in the fish, which may be due to partitioning from the MBs or that it was metabolised in vivo. This work provides evidence that MBs from personal care products are capable of transferring sorbed pollutants to fish that ingest them.
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