Article

Microplastics in edible mussels from a southern Mediterranean lagoon: Preliminary results on seawater-mussel transfer and implications for environmental protection and seafood safety

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract and Figures

This study assesses the microplastics (MPs) levels in mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and seawater from a southern Mediterranean lagoon (Bizerte lagoon, Northern Tunisia) and discusses the potential effects of its consumption on human health. Polyethylene was the most abundant in mussels and seawater, followed by polypropylene and cellophane. The lowest and highest average MPs concentrations were recorded in the lagoon channel and southern area of the lagoon, respectively, for both mussels (2.6 ± 1.7-12.0 ± 1.4 items mussel −1) and seawater (0.2 ± 0.1-0.7 ± 0.2 items L −1). Mussels in areas highly polluted with fibers and polyethylene were found to have higher potential to ingest and/or adhere higher numbers of these particles. The annual dietary intake of MPs by Tunisians through the consumption of local mussels was estimated at 4.2 items ca-pita −1 year −1. Even though MPs are not biodegraded and can be excreted by humans, their potential human health risks are discussed in this paper.
Content may be subject to copyright.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... These unmanaged domestic wastes are mainly represented by discarded plastic materials, which can damage the rural eco-environment and end up in the water body of Bizerte lagoon (Fig. 2). Few preliminary studies were conducted so far on MPs in the sediments and biota of Bizerte lagoon (Abidli et al., 2017(Abidli et al., , 2019Wakkaf et al., 2020), but no studies were conducted on the contamination of its waters with MPs. The present work was conducted in this regard and is intended to i) determine the composition, distribution, and abundance of MPs in the surface waters of Bizerte lagoon and to ii) assess the potential effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on the spread and concentrations of MPs in this transitional water system. ...
... The sampling stations were defined so that they cover almost all the northern, central, and southern parts of the lagoon including the channel connecting it to the Mediterranean Sea. As described in Wakkaf et al. (2020), seawater samples collected from each station were pumped, separately, from the upper 25-cm surface water layer, using a water pump onboard of a small boat, and filtered through a cylindrical stainless-steel filter with a mesh size of 300 μm and a diameter of 4.5 cm. The collected samples of seawater MPs (i.e. ...
... All these sources and related activities such as fishing, agriculture and domestic wastes are susceptible to generate big quantities of plastic litter which end mostly in the lagoon system (Figs. 2 and 7). This process can be accentuated with the semi-closed status of Bizerte lagoon, which can enhance the concentration of MPs in its waters, in addition to the well-developed urban, agricultural, and industrial areas along the coasts and intense maritime traffic activity in this water body, which can release considerable quantities of pollutants (Barhoumi et al., 2014;Alves Martins et al., 2015;Wakkaf et al., 2020). In addition to the plastic pollution sources along the coast, the lagoon waters may also receive significant quantities of distant land-based macro and micro-plastics through the streams feeding the aquatic system with freshwater during rainy seasons. ...
Article
Compared to open sea environments, there is still limited knowledge about microplastic levels in semi-enclosed systems such as coastal lagoons. This work aims to assess the levels of MPs in the waters of an urban lagoon (Bizerte lagoon, northern Tunisia) and to study the effects of environmental factors on their distribution and abundance. Average concentration of total MPs was found to be 453.0 ± 335.2 items m−3. The upper 25 cm water layer of the lagoon is most likely to contain ~16.99 × 109 MPs items (which correspond to a total mass of 42.47 t). Fibers were the primary MPs types encountered, and most of MPs particles identified were white and clear-colored. Polyethylene and polypropylene were the predominant polymer types in Bizerte lagoon. Among the various potential plastic sources of MPs, unmanaged domestic plastic wastes are likely to be the major source of plastic pollution in the lagoon. Several environmental factors appeared to influence the distribution and density of MPs in the lagoon waters. These information contribute to better understand the dynamics of MPs in lagoons and to develop environmental management actions.
... However, it is worth being mentioned that plastic pollution study which was first reported in the marine environment by Carpenter and Smith (1972) is still a trending environmental and healthrelated issue, worldwide, particularly among environmental biologists and toxicologists. With the observation of microplastics in the various compartments of the aquatic environment (water, sediments and animals), studies on plastic pollution recently rejuvenated in the global academic and research community (Faure et al. 2012;Eriksen et al. 2013;Morritt et al. 2014;Mani et al. 2015;Abidli et al. 2017Abidli et al. , 2018Egessa et al. 2020;Wakkaf et al. 2020). It is noteworthy that among hundreds of articles published between 2015 and September 2020 from around the world on plastic pollution and health impact, only 51 reports are by African researchers (Fig. 3). ...
... The animals are capable of transferring plastics to humans and other tertiary consumers in the ecosystem which may increase harmful health effects. For instance, Wakkaf et al. (2020) estimated that Tunisians will ingest 4.2 microplastics per capita per year (this corresponds to 0.04 μg capita −1 year −1 ) through the consumption of wild mussels laden with microplastics. In the same vein, Abidli et al. (2019) who conducted their study in the same study area estimated a higher annual dietary intake of 2757 microplastics person −1 year −1 . ...
... aquatic animals have also been investigated for plastic ingestion in Africa: zooplankton(Kosore et al. 2018), annelids(Lourenço et al. 2017;Nel and Froneman 2018;Missawi et al. 2020), molluscs(Lourenço et al. 2017;Abidli et al. 2019;Akindele et al. 2019;Sparks 2020;Wakkaf et al. 2020), and insects ...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid population growth and poor waste management practice are among the main drivers of plastic pollution in modern times, thus making Africa a hotspot for plastic pollution both now and in the future. This study is a review of plastic pollution reports from the African aquatic environment with regard to causes, current status, toxicological implications and implications for ecosystem services. A total of 59 plastic pollution studies from 1987 to September 2020 were reviewed. They comprised 15 from North Africa (NA) (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia), six from East Africa (EA) (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), 13 from West Africa (WA) (Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Nigeria), and 25 studies from Southern Africa (SA) (South Africa). This shows that plastic pollution studies in Africa, according to the sub-regions, are in the order: SA > NA > WA > EA. High human population in the basins of African large aquatic systems is identified as the greatest driver enhancing plastic surge in the aquatic environment. The occurrence of plastics was mostly reported in the estuarine/marine environment (42 studies) compared to the freshwater environment (only 17 studies). Plastics have also been reported in the three compartments of the aquatic environment: water column, benthic sediment and animals. Zooplankton, annelids, molluscs, insects, fishes and birds were reported as bioindicators of plastic ingestion in the inland and coastal waters of Africa. Polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate (polyester) and polypropylene were the common plastic polymers observed in the African aquatic environment. In situ toxicological implications of the ingested plastic polymers were not reported in any of the studies. However, reports from laboratory-controlled experiments showed that these polymers are deleterious to aquatic animal health. More research efforts need to delineate the plastic pollution status of the East, West and North of Africa. Furthermore, such studies are required to identify the plastic polymers and in situ ecotoxicological impacts of plastics on both animal and human health. Graphical abstract
... This species is dominant intertidal organism in temperate regions, considered highly invasive all around the globe (CABI, 2020). Field investigations on MPs in mussels evidenced the susceptibility to MPs uptake from surrounding waters (Digka et al., 2018;Li et al., 2015;Sparks, 2020;Wakkaf et al., 2020). Therefore, M. galloprovincialis is virtually ideal for being a bioindicator of coastal MPs pollution. ...
... A positive correlation was found between MPs in field-collected mussels and ambient waters (Li et al., 2019;Wakkaf et al., 2020). Their blood cells, hemocytes, represent the backbone of the mussel immune system and are highly responsive to the recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns (Pipe and Coles, 1995). ...
... Many laboratory studies regarding MPs exposure rely solely on pre-produced plastics that are easily purchased; however, these are not representative of the diverse forms currently present in the environment (Lusher et al., 2017b). MPs identified in both seawater and wild M. galloprovincialis showed that fragments and fibers were the predominant type (Digka et al., 2018;Sparks, 2020;Wakkaf et al., 2020). The exposure to irregular MPs with sharp surfaces could potentially contribute to exacerbate the adverse effects (von Moos et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics (MPs) pollution in the ocean is an area of growing concern. Marine fauna subject to MPs exposure from various environmental sources are most likely to have detrimental effects on their immune system. However, studies of potential risks of MPs on marine ecosystems in light of environmental concentrations are largely limited. To this end, we presented an approach for assessing potential impact of MPs on marine ecosystems based on marine mussel Mytilus-based probabilistic risk assessment framework. The immunotoxic-based biomarkers of Mytilus were used to assess the impact of MPs on marine environment appraised with datasets by compiling oceanic region-specific and comprehensive MPsenvironment studies along with published toxicity experiments. The immunological effects of MPs on lysosomal destabilization and phagocytosis in hemocytes of Mytilus were reconstructed as the concentration-response functions. We assessed the risk for marine environment exceeding a threshold of Mytilus-based immunological toxicity based on the benchmark concentration (BMC) approach corresponding to a 10% inhibition effect (BMC10). We estimated BMC10 values for inhibitions of lysosomal membrane stability and phagocytosis to be 1.4 and 0.4 mg L−1, respectively. Here we showed that the overall MPs-associated impact potential was low among South Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and South Atlantic Ocean. However, we found that MPs from North Pacific Ocean were very likely (> 90% probability) to pose a potential threat to marine mussels. Our findings have important implications for understanding the linked relationships between environmental MPs and likelihood of exposure risk for marine organisms in different oceanic regions around the world. We suggest that Mytilus-based risk indicator for estimating risk metrics of essential marine ecosystems posed by environmentally relevant MPs concentrations can help inform practices for the sustainable management and for mitigating the environmental MPs-induced negative impact on marine organisms.
... The separation of microplastic particles from mussel soft tissues was carried out following the method described in Wakkaf et al. (2020) and Munno et al. (2018). Mussel sample was washed with distilled water, and mussel meat and shells were photographed using a digital camera. ...
... The untreated wastewater from sewage, plastic debris like torn fishing nets and broken fishing ropes, and fragmentation Fig. 4. The distribution of shape (a), size (b) and color (c) of MPs in mussel, water and sediment samples. of mismanaged plastic are the common sources of various MPs (Sathish et al., 2020a(Sathish et al., , 2020b. The observation of high levels of fibers in the water and sediment samples relative to the other types of MPs is consistent with the results of several other studies (Wakkaf et al., 2020;Piarulli et al., 2019;Gago et al., 2018;Li et al., 2016). Fragments have been identified as the second dominant type of MPs in mussels and environs. ...
... Previous studies by Karthik et al. (2018) and Sathish et al. (2019) observed PE, PP, PA polymers to be abundant in the coastal region of Tamil Nadu, which they attributed to anthropogenic waste inflow and fishing activities. The earlier reports such as Li et al. (2015Li et al. ( , 2016, Thushari et al. (2017), Phuong et al. (2018), Qu et al. (2018), Webb et al. (2019), Wakkaf et al. (2020) and Sathish et al. (2020a) says that PE, PP, and PA polymers are more commonly found in marine bivalves. Since the density of the dominant polymers (PE and PP) is lower than the seawater (1.02 g cm − 3 ), these polymers are distributed abundantly in the water and associated biota. ...
Article
This study investigated the microplastic (MPs) contamination of the mussels, P. viridis and P. perna of different sizes, and their environment viz. water and sediment. MPs were recovered from the soft tissues of both species. The mean abundance of MPs ranges from 0.87 ± 0.55 to 10.02 ± 4.15 items/individual; 0.1 ± 0.03 to 2.05 ± 0.33 items/g; 31.57 ± 7.63 to 59.25 ± 14.32 items/l in water, and 79.54 ± 18.66 to 108 ± 40.36 items/kg in sediment. Smaller mussels (3–6 cm) are capable of ingesting higher quantities of MPs per gram of tissue weight, and the rate of MP uptake decreases when the mussels grow in size. These might be due to the faster filtration rate in smaller mussels. MPs of fiber type and blue color in the size range of 500 μm to 1 mm are predominant in mussels. Eleven different polymeric groups were identified, of which PE is the most common, followed by PP. The distribution patterns of MP abundance, shape, size, color, and polymer in mussels more closely resemble those in water. There is no significant difference in MP quantities between P. perna and P. viridis (p > 0.05). FTIR-ATR spectroscopy and SEM analysis show that most of the MPs have been strongly weathered. EDAX analysis detects heavy metals like As, Ni, Fe, Zn, and Cd associated with MPs. This study shows that the MPs contents of both the mussel species are transferred from seawater to their edible meat. This study again proved that mussels can act as bio indicator of MPs pollution.
... For example, studies carried out in distinct locations of China showed a positive and strongly correlation between microplastic concentration in surrounding water and bivalves, with R 2 < 0.7 Qu et al., 2018;Wang et al., 2021). A study in Tunisia also showed this same pattern (r = 0.75), with the lowest concentrations of MPs for bivalves and seawater recorded for the same area of Bizerte lagoon (2.6 ± 1.7 MPS/ind and 0.2 ± 0.1 MPs/L, respectively), as well as the highest concentrations in another area of this lagoon (12.0 ± 1.4 MPs/ind and 0.7 ± 0.2 MPs/L) (Wakkaf et al., 2020). In the same way, there are also studies that identified positive correlation between concentration of microplastics in sediment and organisms, as in India (24.45 to 235.12 MPs/kg; 0.64 to 1.3 MPs/g; R 2 = 0.6) (Narmatha Sathish et al., 2020) and the UK (33.9 to 402 MPs/kg; 1.43 to 7.64 MPs/ ind; R 2 = 0.832) (Scott et al., 2019). ...
... Abundance on water Abundance on sediment Relationship of microplastics in bivalves and environment (Sui et al., 2020) ~ 2.5-5 MPs/L n.d In nine types of tissues, only the abundance of microplastics in the hemolymph was positively correlated with that in the surrounding seawater (Wakkaf et al., 2020) 0.4 ± 0.2 MPs/L n.d Significant positive correlation between the numbers of fibers and PE particles found in mussels and those in seawater samples (Waite et al., 2018) 15.6 ± 8.4-33.9 ± 11.6 MPs/L n.d ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this review was to identify the current knowledge regarding the concentration of microplastics in bivalves in the marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments. For this purpose, researches were conducted from September 2020 to February 2021 in the Scopus, Web of Science, and Google scholar databases, following a meticulous selection of articles. To comprehensively understand the selected articles, an extensive review was carried out in order to identify the methodologies employed, sampling sites, species evaluated, characteristics of the microplastics (concentrations, shapes, sizes, and polymers) and their relationship with the concentration of this particles in the environment. A total of 93 articles were selected, with an exponential growth in the number of articles from April 2014 to February 2021. Worldwide, 80 articles were realized in the Northern Hemisphere and thirteen in the Southern Hemisphere. The samplings of organisms were carried out in 36 countries, besides one in Antarctica. The concentration of microplastics were studied in 70 species, with mussels Mytilus spp. and the oysters Crassostrea spp. being the main genus studied. Due to the different methodologies used to digest the tissues of organisms and identify microplastics and species, it is difficult to make comparisons between the results of different studies. In addition, data on the concentrations of microplastics in the environment, as well as their composition and characteristics, are needed, enabling the verification of relationships with the concentrations identified in organisms, which does not occur in most studies. Thus, we suggest an increase in the number of studies to be realized in the southern hemisphere, future studies use the same methodology of digestion, the polymer identification of microplastics and samplings of the surrounding environment, enabling a greater comparison between studies.
... bisphenol A and phthatales) and sorbed contaminants (e.g. pharmaceuticals) (Santos et al., 2021) move through food webs via biotic processes such as direct consumption and predation (Bour et al., 2020;Cuthbert et al., 2019;Oliveri Conti et al., 2020;Smiroldo et al., 2019;van Raamsdonk et al., 2020;Wakkaf et al., 2020b;Zhang et al., 2020b;Zhou et al., 2020b), from primary producers to humans . Hence, microplastics can affect the health of the upper trophic level via trophic transfer (da Costa Araújo et al., 2020) and present an emerging threat to food security and human health (De-la-Torre, 2020; Oliveri Conti et al., 2020;Peixoto et al., 2019;Wakkaf et al., 2020b;Wang et al., 2019a;Zitouni et al., 2020). ...
... pharmaceuticals) (Santos et al., 2021) move through food webs via biotic processes such as direct consumption and predation (Bour et al., 2020;Cuthbert et al., 2019;Oliveri Conti et al., 2020;Smiroldo et al., 2019;van Raamsdonk et al., 2020;Wakkaf et al., 2020b;Zhang et al., 2020b;Zhou et al., 2020b), from primary producers to humans . Hence, microplastics can affect the health of the upper trophic level via trophic transfer (da Costa Araújo et al., 2020) and present an emerging threat to food security and human health (De-la-Torre, 2020; Oliveri Conti et al., 2020;Peixoto et al., 2019;Wakkaf et al., 2020b;Wang et al., 2019a;Zitouni et al., 2020). For example, mussels assist the sinking of microplastics to bottom sediments (Piarulli and Airoldi, 2020), while detritus-feeders taking up microplastics facilitate their transport across marine environments and food webs (Piarulli and Airoldi, 2020). ...
Article
Microplastics pollution is predicted to increase in the coming decades, raising concerns about its effects on living organisms. Although the effects of microplastics on individual organisms have been extensively studied, the effects on communities, biological diversity, and ecosystems remain underexplored. This paper reviews the published literature concerning how microplastics affect communities, biological diversity, and ecosystem processes. Microplastics increase the abundance of some taxa but decrease the abundance of some other taxa, indicating trade-offs among taxa and altered microbial community composition in both the natural environment and animals’ gut. The alteration of community composition by microplastics is highly conserved across taxonomic ranks, while the alpha diversity of microbiota is often reduced or increased, depending on the microplastics dose and environmental conditions, suggesting potential threats to biodiversity. Biogeochemical cycles, greenhouse gas fluxes, and atmospheric chemistry, can also be altered by microplastics pollution. These findings suggest that microplastics may impact the U.N. Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) to improve atmospheric, soil, and water quality and sustaining biodiversity.
... The accumulation of MPs by bivalvia has often been observed worldwide. Mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) for human consumption in the Mediterranean Lagoon were reported to contain MPs up to 12 items individual -1 (Wakkaf et al 2020). Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) from Halfmoon Bay also contain MPs up to 0.6 items individual -1 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastic pollution is already a global concern. Due to improper solid waste management, plastic waste will end up in the ocean. Tallo Estuary is a primary habitat of Venus clam (Marcia hiantina), one of the fisheries commodities in Makassar City, Indonesia. The existence of microplastic could harm the food security of M. hiantina. This study aims to determine the abundance and characteristics of microplastics in M. hiantina collected from Tallo Estuary. Microplastic from M. hiantina was extracted using the KOH digestive method. M. hiantina collected from Tallo Estuary was confirmed to contain microplastic, with an average abundance ranging from 1.10 to 3.08 item individual-1. The contamination level of microplastic in M. hiantina ranged from 60 to 83.33%. The dominant microplastic shape was line microplastic. Large microplastic (1-5 mm) has a larger proportion than small microplastics (<1 mm) in M. hiantina samples. The community, stakeholders and government must pay more attention to microplastic pollution in Tallo Estuary to prevent more severe situations in the future.
... As the gastrointestinal tract of these species is removed and not ingested, so chances of direct exposure to MPs and NPs in human decreases to some extent (Chain, 2016;Rubio et al., 2020;Alimba et al., 2021), but humans entirely consume marine organisms like mollusks and other seafood along with gastrointestinal tract, represents direct dietary exposure (Rubio et al., 2020). It was estimated that the average quantity of consumed MPs is 3918 MP year − 1 in India via bivalves (Dowarah et al., 2020), 2757 MP year − 1 (Abidli et al., 2019), and 4.2 MP year − 1 (Wakkaf et al., 2020) in Tunisia via wild mussels. However, a significant amount of MPs were observed in freshwater fishes and clams (Su et al., 2018;Kuśmierek and Popiołek, 2020;Martinez-Tavera et al., 2021), as freshwater bodies are also heavily polluted with plastic debris. ...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) are key indicators of the plasticine era, widely spread across different ecosystems. MPs and NPs become global stressors due to their inherent physicochemical characteristics and potential impact on ecosystems and humans. MPs and NPs have been exposed to humans via various pathways, such as tap water, bottled water, seafood, beverages, milk, fish, salts, fruits, and vegetables. This paper highlights MPs and NPs pathways to the food chains and how these plastic particles can cause risks to human health. MPs have been evident in vivo and vitro and have been at health risks, such as respiratory, immune, reproductive, and digestive systems. The present work emphasizes how various MPs and NPs, and associated toxic chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), impact human health. Polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are common MPs and NPs, reported in human implants via ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposure, which can cause carcinogenesis, according to Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports. Inhalation, ingestion, and dermal exposure-response cause genotoxicity, cell division and viability, cytotoxicity, oxidative stress induction, metabolism disruption, DNA damage, inflammation, and immunological responses in humans. Lastly, this review work concluded with current knowledge on potential risks to human health and knowledge gaps with recommendations for further investigation in this field.
... It has already been reported that particles ingested by organisms at the lower trophic level of the food web such as zooplankton, can be passed up the food web to higher trophic levels such as fish, and may eventually end up for human consumption [18]. Common human dietary food items such as bivalves and fish are examples of potential sources of plastics through human diet [18,83,84]. For instance, Davidson and Dudas [85] reported that in Manila clam (Venerupis philippinarum), microplastics were present in farm organisms and organisms collected in reference locations in Baynes Sound (British Columbia), with plastic levels able to reach 5.47 particles per gram of organism. ...
Article
Full-text available
Marine litter is a global problem which has been negatively affecting the environment. Plastic materials are the most commonly found marine debris, with potential biological (not only for aquatic organisms but also for humans) as well as socio-economic impacts. Considering that it is an anthropogenic problem, society could play an important role to minimize it. Although a considerable amount of research has addressed the biological effects of plastics (micro(nano)plastics) on biota, few studies have addressed how scientific information is being transmitted to the public and the potential role of citizen environmental education. The current paper discusses known effects, researched topics and how scientific knowledge is currently being transmitted to the public.
... depth of 100 m) to the surface, and solely fibers were found with an average abundance of 0.23 ± 0.20 items m − 3 . In the lagoon of Bizerte, Tunisia, seawater samples were collected using a submersible pump (300 μm mesh size;Wakkaf et al., 2020aWakkaf et al., , 2020b. The authors reported relevant high concentrations in the sea surface waters (453 ± 335 items m − 3 ) and benthic waters (400 ± 200 items m − 3 ). ...
Article
The lack of standardization on the definition and methods in microplastic (MP) research has limited the overall interpretation and intercomparison of published data. This has presented different solutions to assess the presence of these pollutants in the natural environment, bringing the science forward. Microplastics have been reported worldwide across different biological levels and environmental compartments. In the Mediterranean Sea, numerous research efforts have been dedicated to defining the MP pollution levels. The reported MP concentrations are comparable to those found in the convergence zone of ocean gyres, pointing to this basin as one of the world's greatest plastic accumulation areas. However, to what extent are the data produced limited by the methods? Here, we present the results of a systematic review of MP research methods and occurrence targeting the seawater and sediment bodies of the Mediterranean Sea. Based on this dataset, we 1) assess the discrepancies and similarities in the methods, 2) analyze how these differences affect the reported concentrations, and 3) identify the limitations of the data produced for the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, we reaffirm the pressing need of developing a common reporting terminology, and call for international collaboration between Mediterranean countries, especially with North African countries, to provide a complete picture of the MP pollution status in this basin.
... As active filter feeders, mussels ingest microplastic particles ( Fig. 3 and Online Resource 1 for time-lapse movie), which have become a world-wide concern. Since early reports about microplastic contamination in mussels (Browne et al 2008;von Moos et al. 2012;Wegner et al. 2012), an increasing number of papers have been published, mainly on species of Mytilus and Perna (Chae and An 2020; Gedik and Eryasar 2020; Kazour and Amara 2020; Piarulli and Airoldi 2020; Christoforou et al. 2020;Cole et al. 2020;Li et al. 2020a;Stamataki et al.2020;Wakkaf et al. 2020;Webb et al. 2020;Alnajar et al. 2021;Cappello et al. 2021;Cho et al. 2021;Klasios et al. 2021;Kumar et al. 2021;Liu et al. 2021;Perez et al. 2021;Seuront et al. 2021;Wang et al. 2021a,b). Considering their distributions around cities and other human habitations, mussels are ideal organisms for monitoring microplastic pollution. ...
Article
Full-text available
Mussels are a group of bivalves that includes the dominant species of shallow-sea, freshwater, and deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. Mussels cling to various solid underwater surfaces using a proteinaceous thread, called the byssus, which is central to their ecology, physiology, and evolution. Mussels cluster using their byssi to form “mussel beds,” thereby increasing their biomass per unit of habitat area, and also creating habitats for other organisms. Clustered mussels actively filter feed to obtain nutrients, but also ingest pollutants and suspended particles; thus, mussels are good subjects for pollution analyses, especially for microplastic pollution. The byssus also facilitates invasiveness, allowing mussels to hitchhike on ships, and to utilize other man-made structures, including quay walls and power plant inlets, which are less attractive to native species. Physiologically, mussels have adapted to environmental stressors associated with a sessile lifestyle. Osmotic adaptation is especially important for life in intertidal zones, and taurine is a major component of that adaptation. Taurine accumulation systems have also been modified to adapt to sulfide-rich environments near deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The byssus may have also enabled access to vent environments, allowing mussels to attach to “evolutionary stepping stones” and also to vent chimneys.
... The presence of accumulated microplastics in fish may not only reflect contamination in the marine ecosystem, but also mirror the potential dangers to human health posed by the ingestion of seafood that contains microplastics. Previous research on annual dietary exposure has suggested that human ingestion of microplastics from seafood may not be negligible, and that this may occur either through the intake of shellfish (Yozukmaz, 2021;Nalbone et al., 2021;Wakkaf et al., 2020) or processed finfish (Piyawardhana et al., 2022). Because the majority of fish consumers in developing countries eat whole fish, especially for small pelagic such as sardinellas, the current study estimates such doses from contaminated fish intake. ...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decades, there has been a growing concern about microplastics pollution in global aquatic habitats and its potential impact on human health. This study was carried out to determine the presence of microplastics in fish of economic importance in Ghana. Microplastics were found to be abundant in all investigated samples, with 68 % of the fishes contaminated with microplastics and a total of 133 plastic items identified in the fish. The presence of fibers, black coloured particles, and microplastics in the size range of 0.5–1.0 mm was the most abundant in the samples examined. Three polymers specifically, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, and polyamide were identified in the study. The presence of microplastics in the fishes investigated may pose severe ecological and health concerns, and hence comprehensive policies targeted at preventing plastic pollution of Ghana's maritime environment is warranted.
... Leung et al., 2011;Pinto et al., 2015;Yeung et al., 2017). As for microplastics, recent studies identified a close alignment between the number of microplastics found in mussels and that in the surrounding water, suggesting the applicability of using mussels in the environmental assessment of microplastics (Qu et al., 2018;Li et al., 2019;Wakkaf et al., 2020). In this connection, our findings from P. viridis indicated the abundance of microplastics in the mariculture areas of Hong Kong. ...
Article
Microplastics are prevalent in marine environments and seafood and thus can easily end up in human diets. This has raised serious concerns worldwide, particularly in Hong Kong where the seafood consumption per capita can be three times higher than the global average. This study focused on the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis, a popular seafood species which is subject to a high risk of contamination by microplastics due to its filter-feeding nature. P. viridis was collected from five mariculture sites in Hong Kong and assessed for its body load of microplastics using an automated Raman mapping approach. Microplastics were found in all sites, with an average of 1.60–14.7 particles per mussel per site, or 0.21–1.83 particles per g wet weight. Polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate were detected among the microplastics, mainly as fragments or fibres in the size range of 40–1,000 µm. It was estimated that through consumption of P. viridis, the population in Hong Kong could ingest up to 10,380 pieces of microplastics per person per year. These estimated rates were high compared to the values reported worldwide, suggesting the potential human health risk of microplastics in Hong Kong and adjacent areas.
... Also, meshes of different sizes are used to reduce the volumes or masses of the collected samples. Wakkaf et al. (2020b) have used a 300 μm net for microplastic sampling in waters of the coastal lagoon of Bizerte, Tunisia, where abundances of 0.2 ± 0.1 to 0.7 ± 0.2 items L −1 were recorded, slightly exceeding the abundances found in CGSM. However, these authors used a different methodology than the one in this study. ...
Preprint
Microplastics are emerging pollutants that have been found in different environmental matrices of marine and coastal ecosystems, where they can generate harmful ecological impacts. Little is known about the current state of microplastic pollution in fragile tropical lagoon ecosystems, such as Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM) in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. This study assesses microplastic pollution in surface waters and sediments, and the occurrence of microplastic ingestion in commercially important fish species from CGSM. In waters, microplastic abundances ranged from 0.0 to 0.3 items L-1 while in sediments they varied from 0.0 to 3.1 items kg-1. The most abundant types of microplastics are fibers and fragments, with polypropylene, polyethylene and high-density polyethylene as the most abundant polymers. Also, 100 (i.e. 21.1%) out of 474 individuals from nine fish species had microplastics in their digestive tracts. Microplastics present in water and sediments and in the digestive tract of the analyzed fish species have similar characteristics, also showing a moderate and statistically significant association. Microplastic abundances are higher near river mouths and in urban areas with a high density of fishing activities and aquaculture infrastructures, which are important sources of contaminants. Microplastic pollution in CGSM represents a threat to the lagoon ecosystem and to local people depending on artisanal fishing. Consequently, effective actions to reduce pollution and its socio-environmental impacts are urgently required.
... Smaller particles (20-40 μm) were the most prevalent in both areas, while the most common polymer types were, in descending order, PE, PP, and PET, with smaller but equal amounts of PS, PA, and PVC. Much higher numbers of microplastic particles were detected in mussels in the Bizerte lagoon (northern Tunisia), which is exposed to a number of major anthropogenic pressures [28]. The average number of particles ranged from 2.6 to 12 items/mussel. ...
Article
Full-text available
The amount of plastic waste and microplastics released into marine environments has increased rapidly in recent decades. The durability of plastic materials results in major problems following their release into the environment. This study provides an overview of recent findings on issues related to plastic degradation, the accumulation of microplastics in mussels and fishes, and the toxicological effects associated with the ingestion of microplastics. These findings confirm the serious problem of slowly degrading plastics (which rarely degrade fully) in natural marine environments. Microplastics have become widespread pollutants and have been detected in mussels and fish around the world. Microplastic particles, whether virgin or with adsorbed pollutants on their surfaces, pose a health problem after being ingested by marine organisms. This paper ends by highlighting the need for certain improvements in studies of these phenomena.
... Dowarah et al. (2020) reported that based on the average number of MPs per soft tissue of bivalves (Perna viridis and Meretrix meretrix) from three estuaries in India, and the quantity and frequency of bivalve consumption per day, an average Indian may be ingesting 3918 MPs per year. Also, on average a Tunisian that consume wild mussels, may be ingesting 4.2 MPs per capita per year (Wakkaf et al., 2020) and 2757 MPs per person in a year (Abidli et al., 2019). Interestingly, Cox and colleagues estimated a significantly higher value of 39,000-52,000 MPs per year for an average American through the consumption of various dietary sources (Cox et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Micro(nano)-plastics (MP/NPs) ubiquity in the environment constitutes the global environmental and toxicological related issues of the 21st century. MP/NPs are now constantly observed in all components of the environment including many human consumer products; sea food, milk, beer, honey, bottle and tap water, salts, tea, drinks, and in human feaces and placenta. However, the potential health impacts in wildlife and humans are still poorly understood. This critical review provides comprehensive information on the ubiquity of MP/NPs in human consumer products, potential exposure route, uptake and translocation in the body and the associated pathophysiological effects. It also presents insight into the possible mechanisms that can lead to initiation and progression of cancer pathogenesis in the body. The possible mechanisms of MP/NPs induced cancer formation are centered on individual and or interactive effects of reactive oxygen species, induction of oxidative stress, genome instability, and chronic inflammation. This provides a strong evidence for a mechanistic approach to MP/NPs carcinogenic potentials. However, whether these mechanisms are realizable remained to be investigated in wildlife and human studies.
Article
The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and the polystyrene (PS), which are typical microplastic contaminants, are frequently detected in the environment and have potential hazard to environmental health. In this study, the accumulation, elimination, tissue distribution and potential effects of the HDPE and the PS in the mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were evaluated. The HDPE and the PS were found in various tissues (digestive gland > gill > gonad ≈ muscle) with no difference in distribution patterns. The accumulation of the HDPE and the PS rapidly increased in the first 48 h exposure, and the accumulation of HDPE was higher than that of PS. After 144 h of elimination, most of the HDPE and the PS were cleared by mussels. In addition, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and the content of oxidized glutathione considerably increased, indicating that the HDPE and the PS induced oxidative stress and prevented oxidative damage in elimination. The metabolomic analysis suggested that exposure to HDPE and PS induced alterations in the metabolic profiles of mussel. Differential metabolites were involved in energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, tricarboxylic acid cycle and neurotoxic response., and Meanwhile, the PS had a lower effect on mussel metabolism during elimination, but the effect of HDPE was increased. Overall, this study elucidated that the HDPE and the PS caused adverse effects on the mussels and provided insights toward understanding the hazard of different microplastics on aquatic organisms.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we investigated seasonal variations in concentrations of microplastics (MPs) in surface sediments of a lagoon heavily impacted by human activities, located in northern Tunisia (the Bizerte lagoon, southern Mediterranean Sea). Analyses of 112 sediment samples collected from 28 stations between May 2019 and February 2020 revealed significant seasonal variation in concentrations of total MPs, with the highest levels recorded in August 2019 (109.6 ± 59.8 items kg−1 DS (dry sediment)) and the lowest in February 2020 (33.2 ± 22.0 items kg−1 DS). In terms of polymer types, polyethylene particles were the most abundant throughout the year, followed by polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polyethylene terephthalate. Spatial variations in total MP concentrations were found to depend on several environmental factors, including proximity to the coastline, level of anthropogenic pressure, location inside the lagoon, and presence/absence of vegetation. The upper 5-cm surface sediment layer of the lagoon was found to contain ~ 9.96 × 1010 MP particles, equal to ~ 248.97 t of plastic. Similar patterns of microplastic composition and structure were found throughout the year, revealing the same plastic pollution hotspots during all seasons. This indicates that sources of plastic pollution are land-based and originate from coastal urban, industrial, and agricultural areas, as well as from major freshwater streams. The findings of the present work can help to develop an efficient environmental management plan aiming to reduce and/or stop the spread of plastic pollution and its impacts on the socially and economically important ecosystem of the Bizerte lagoon.
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of three exotic decapods is reported from the Lagoon of Bizerte (northern Tunisia) based on records gathered from local fishermen. These three species are the Atlantic blue crab Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896, the blue swimming crab Portunus segnis (Forskål, 1775), and the Lessepsian shrimp Trachysalambria palaestinensis (Steinitz, 1932). Our sightings confirm the establishment of C. sapidus and P. segnis in the Lagoon of Bizerte and widen the known distribution of T. palaestinensis to northern Tunisia. The updated distribution maps of C. sapidus and P. segnis in the Mediterranean Sea confirm the rapid expansion and colonizing behaviour of these two invasive portunid species. Finally, the potential impacts of these two latter species on the local ecosystem were discussed.
Article
The present study aims to document the contamination levels and ecological risks of heavy metals in the sediments of Kavaratti lagoon, India. A total of 15 sediment samples were collected for the analysis of Al, Pb, Cd, Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni and Zn. The decreasing trend of heavy metals was observed in the lagoon sediment as Pb > Zn > Al > Mn > Ni > Cr > Cd > Cu. The Geo-accumulation index (Igeo) results indicate that Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni and Zn were uncontaminated, while Cd was strong to extremely contaminated and Al and Pb were moderately contaminated. The enrichment factors (EF) of Cd and Pb range from moderate to extremely high (EF > 1) indicating that they have anthropogenic origin on Kavaratti Island. The Contamination factor (Cf) indicated that Cd, Pb and Al belong to a high risk of contamination (Cf > 6). The pollution load index (PLI) value near one suggested that a moderate level of pollution occurs in the study area. The modified degree of contamination (mCd) shows that Al, Cd and Pb have an ultra- higher degree of contamination (mCd ≤ 32). The potential ecological risk (RI) index confirmed that Pb and Cd have considerable to the serious thread of ecological risk (RI > 600). Additionally, multivariate statistical analysis and pollution indexes showed that the Kavaratti lagoon is moderate to considerably polluted by heavy metals. Diesel-based power generation, activities related to shipping, untreated sewage, fishing and tourism activities are the main anthropogenic sources of heavy metal pollution on Kavaratti Island.
Article
Our study aimed to identify the microplastic concentrations in a bivalve (Perna perna), identifying possible relationships with microplastics found in surface water, checking if this species is a good bioindicator for this type of pollution. The average of microplastics in mussels was 1.4 ± 0.3 MPs.g⁻¹ ww and 8.3 ± 1.0 MPs.individual ⁻¹, while the concentration in surface water samples was 41.4 ± 15.7 MPs.L⁻¹. The results showed that both matrices contained significative differences of microplastics between sites and periods and had a close relationship between them, possibly caused by physiological characteristics of organisms and variations in the concentration of microplastics in the surrounding water. A negative relationship was observed between the weights of organisms and the concentration of microplastics per gram, possibly related to the filtration/excretion rates of the different sizes of organisms. Yet, Spearman correlation evidenced positive relationship between the concentrations, as well as similarities in the shapes, colors and sizes of the microplastics found in the both studied matrices, with a predominance of fibers, black and smaller than 0.5 mm. In this way, we conclude that the mussel P. perna is a good bioindicator of microplastic pollution, however, future studies in other regions are needed to consolidate the results of the present study.
Article
Aquaculture is a potential source of microplastics (MPs) that could be strong stressors for marine organisms. In this study, we evaluated the effects of MPs derived from aquaculture in antioxidant defences and oxidative stress markers in gills of Mytilus galloprovincialis. Mussels were distributed in three areas with different impacts: inside aquaculture cages, Control 1 (located inside Andratx harbour) and Control 2 (located in a no-anthropized area). Samples were obtained along three different time periods in May (T0), July (T60) and in September (T120). At each sampling period, mussels’ biometric measurements were taken, and tissue samples were kept frozen for biochemical determinations and to determine the intake of MPs. An increase in MPs intake was detected throughout the study, and this increase was significantly higher in samples from the aquaculture cages. Similarly, antioxidant enzyme activities (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase) were significantly higher in samples from cages at T120. Additionally, a similar tendency was observed in glutathione-s-transferase, with a higher activity in the aquaculture cages at T60 and T120. Malondialdehyde and carbonyl protein derivates as a marker of oxidative damage were also measured and samples from aquaculture cages presented higher oxidative stress markers, mainly in T120. In conclusion, living in environments exposed to aquaculture activities at sea may imply a higher intake of MPs which in turn might cause an antioxidant response in M. galloprovincialis which is not enough to avoid oxidative damage.
Article
Although several studies previously assessed the contents of trace metals in the sediments of the heavily humanimpacted lagoon of Bizerte (northern Tunisia), multi-analytical approaches have not been, so far, used to assess the ecological risks in this water body. This study attempts to provide a comprehensive ecological risk assessment related to the enrichment of the lagoon sediments with seven metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn). Significant spatial variations were found in the metal concentrations in sediments, in relation to the degree of coastal human activities and hydrodynamics. This was confirmed with the results of the three pollution indices, Cf, PLI, and Igeo. Concordant results were found with most of the indices used to assess the ecological risks (PERI, PEL, ERL, ERM, M-ERM-Q, TU), indicating higher risks in the southern part of the lagoon. These findings can help to improve the environmental management plan of the socio-economic important lagoon of Bizerte.
Article
The presence of microplastics (MPs) was determined in Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819) and grooved carpet shell (Ruditapes decussatus Linnaeus, 1758) together with water samples from in İzmir Bay (Aegean Sea, Western Turkey). A total of 895 MPs from Karşıyaka (Station 1), and 787 MPs from Gülbahçe (Station 2) were detected in 60 mussel samples, giving a total content of 1682 MPs. In water samples, a total of 545 MPs were detected in samples from Station 1 and 1287 MPs in samples from Station 2 (1832 MPs total). The amount of MPs in water samples was less in Station 1 than in Station 2. This difference is probably caused by Çiğli Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) located near Station 1. Public health risk assessment on the consumption of the species M. galloprovincialis revealed that 70.82 items person-1 year-1 MPs through this species could enter consumers' digestive systems.
Article
This study assesses for the first time the concentrations of microplastics (MPs) in sediments, water and two human-consumed mussels with different ecological traits (Amarilladesma mactroides and Brachidontes rodriguezii) in a touristic sandy beach of Argentina. MPs were characterized through FTIR and SEM/EDX techniques. All the samples presented MPs with similar concentrations as other human-impacted coastal areas of the world, being black and blue fibers of < 0.5 and 0.5-1 mm the most abundant. SEM images exhibited cracks and fractures with clay minerals and microorganisms adhered to MPs surface. EDX spectrums showed potentially toxic elements, such as Cr, Ti, and Mo. FTIR identified polymers such as cellulose, polyamides, and polyacrylates in most of the samples analyzed. Our study demonstrates that microplastic pollution is a common threat to sandy beaches in Argentina, worsened by plastic particles carrying metal ions with potential toxic effects to the biota, including A. mactroides, an endangered species.
Chapter
Marine litter, and particularly plastics, has significant impacts on the marine and coastal environment. Anthropogenic factors such as land- and sea-based activities, in addition to lack of governmental financial resources, and lack of the public's awareness are the causes of this problem. The aim of this chapter is to analyze marine litter research trends and knowledge gaps in two groups of countries of the eastern and southern Mediterranean Sea (higher-income and low- to middle-income countries), and provide an overview on the abundance of marine microplastics (MPs) and methods of analysis, along with identification of potential research topics that are needed to overcome these shortcomings. The results showed that higher-income countries not only have higher research output, but also different research trends. Low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) have recently been involved in marine litter research, with most studies focusing on either local assessment of marine litter in sediments and fauna, or laboratory experiments to assess the impact of MPs on aquatic organisms, while high income countries focus on reduction measures, large scale monitoring using harmonized protocols, and applying advanced techniques to detect source and fate of plastic marine litter including mapping, modeling, and deep learning applications.
Article
The ubiquitous presence of microplastics (MPs) and trace elements in the marine environment is regarded as a global threat to marine organisms. The current study aims to assess MP levels and trace element (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Se, and Fe) accumulation in the shellfish Arca noae collected from five locations along the southeastern Mediterranean coasts, Alexandria, Egypt. The frequency of the occurrence of ingested MPs in A. noae soft tissues was 48%, whereas the abundance of MPs was 1.65 ± 0.28 MP/individual and 0.58 ± 0.04 items g¹ of the wet weight of tissue. Polyethylene was the most abundant polymer in A. noae, followed by polypropylene and polystyrene. The concentration levels of Zn, Cd, and Pb detected in the soft tissues of A. noae are higher than the maximum permissible limits. This study provides baseline data for further environmental assessments, with the use of A. noae as an early warning indicator in biomonitoring programs.
Article
Due to the rise in aquaculture production, a global increase in Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Systems (IMTA) combining species and optimizing niches is expected to mitigate environmental impacts. However, these facilities are currently composed of plastic materials that can directly or indirectly be released into the marine environment and become available for reared species such as fish and mussels. This study aims to contribute to the quantification of plastics from IMTA systems with a holistic approach. For this purpose, we evaluated plastic ingestion in two edible species (Sparus aurata and Mytilus galloprovincialis) from sea-based experimental aquaculture facilities in Mallorca, as well as plastic loads in the surrounding surface waters. Plastics were observed at the IMTA system in 33% of Sparus aurata samples, 94% of Mytilus galloprovincialis samples, and 100% of sea surface water samples. Plastic ingestion was approximately twice as high in filter feeder mussels as in fish. Additionally, the type and composition of ingested particles differed between species; fish ingested up to 70% films and filaments of HDPE and LDPE, while mussels ingested 97% fibers composed of cellulose acetate. Our results suggest that bioindicator species such as S. aurata and M. galloprovincialis should be included in monitoring programs of aquaculture facilities to better understand the fate of plastics derived from these practices.
Article
Full-text available
Food trays are often made from extruded polystyrene (XPS), and quantities of millimetre-sized particles of this material are trapped between the meat they contain and the sealing film. The purpose of this study is to identify the chemical nature of these particles and quantify them. Furthermore, the quantification of synthetic or organic fibres was also carried out. The results show that XPS microplastics (MP-XPS) contaminate food products at a level ranging from 4.0 to 18.7 MP-XPS/kg of packaged meat. Analysis shows that these microplastics are likely to come from the XPS trays. These particles are difficult to remove by mere rinsing and are probably cooked before being consumed. However, at this stage, it is not clear from the scientific literature whether there is a potential risk to humans associated with the ingestion of MP-XPS. In addition to these MP-XPS, it should also be pointed out that fibres can also contaminate meat.
Article
Full-text available
Microplastic (MP) concentrations were determined, for the first time, in surface sediment of seven streams around the lagoon of Bizerte (Northern Tunisia), using a saturated NaCl flotation technique. Microplastics were categorised according to type, colour and size using a stereoscopic microscope. Results showed that all sediment samples contained MPs. The greatest MP abundance was observed at Jedara stream (6920 ± 395.98 items kg⁻¹ dry weight), while the lowest mean value was 2340 ± 227.15 items kg⁻¹ dry weight at Khima stream. The highest numbers of MPs were from streams near populated areas and municipal and industrial effluent discharges. Samples were made up entirely of secondary MPs mainly fibres, followed by fragments and films. The predominant colours were as follows: black > clear > white > red > blue > green > yellow for fibres, white > blue > black > red for fragments and red > white > clear > green > blue = black for films. Microplastic particles in the samples ranged from 0.2 to 5 mm in length. FTIR analysis revealed that the abundant polymers were polypropylene and polyethylene. This work contributes to the growing evidence that MP contamination is widespread even in freshwater ecosystems and provides a baseline for future studies and risk assessments.
Article
Full-text available
The study of microplastic pollution involves multidisciplinary analyses on a large number of microplastics. Therefore, providing an overview of plastic pollution is time consuming and, despite high throughput analyses, remains a major challenge. The objective of this study is to propose a protocol to determine how many microplastics must be analyzed to give a representative view of the particle size distribution and chemical nature, and calculate the associated margin error. Based on microplastic data from Tara Mediterranean campaign, this approach is explained through different examples. In this particular case, the results show that only 3% of the collected microplastics need to be analyzed to give a precise view on the scale of the North West Mediterranean Basin (error <5%), and 17.7% to give an overview manta per manta (error <10%). This approach could be an important practical contribution to microplastic studies.
Article
Full-text available
Microplastic pollution is increasingly becoming a great environmental concern worldwide. Microplastics have been found in many marine organisms as a result of increasing plastic pollution within marine environments. However, the relationship between micoplastics in organisms and their living environment is still relatively poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated microplastic pollution in the water and the mussels (Mytilus edulis, Perna viridis) at 25 sites along the coastal waters of China. We also, for the first time, conducted an exposure experiment in parallel on the same site using M. edulis in the laboratory. A strong positive linear relationship was found between microplastic levels in the water and in the mussels. Fibers were the dominant microplastics. The sizes of microplastics in the mussels were smaller than those in the water. During exposure experiments, the abundance of microbeads was significantly higher than that of fibers, even though the nominal abundance of fibers was eight times that of microbeads. In general, our results supported positive and quantitative correlations of microplastics in mussels and in their surrounding waters and that mussels were more likely to ingest smaller microplastics. Laboratory exposure experiment is a good way to understand the relative impacts of microplastics ingested by marine organisms. However, significant differences in the results between exposure experiments and field investigations indicated that further efforts are needed to simulate the diverse environmentally relevant properties of microplastics.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics (MPs) in sediments from the complex lagoon-channel of Bizerte were investigated, for the first time, to evaluate the occurrence and abundance of MPs in Tunisia. After density separation in saline solution, MPs were counted by a stereomicroscope. The number of MPs was at the range of 3–18 items/g sediment (3000–18,000 items/kg dry sediment) and the most contaminated site was of Menzel Abderrahmane (MA) followed by Carrier Bay (CB), Menzel Jemil (MJ) and Channel of Bizerte (C). The MPs gathered during the survey varied in size from 0.3 to 5 mm, and appear in a variety of shapes and colours. The dominant shape was fibre (88.88% in MA, 91.00% in CB, 82.35% in C and 21.05% in MJ). The rest of MPs are fragments whilst no micro beads were found. Colours are clear, white, blue, green, red and black. Cities discharges, fishing activity and industrial production sites are the most likely sources of MPs. This first work provides original data on the presence of MPs that determines their bioavailability to organisms as seafood, and then possibly transfers of to human. The high MP concentrations registered in the complex lagoon-channel of Bizerte suggest that this site is a hotspot for MP pollution and there is an urgency to understand their origins and effects on marine life. The results will provide useful background information for further investigations.
Article
Full-text available
Microplastic pollution causes a major concern in the marine environment due to their worldwide distribution, persistence, and adverse effects of these pollutants in the marine ecosystem. Despite its global presence, there is still a lack of information on the effect of microplastics on marine organisms at the molecular level. Herein we demonstrated ingestion and egestion of nano- (0.05 µm) and micro-sized (0.5 and 6 µm) polystyrene microbeads in the marine copepod Paracyclopina nana, and examined molecular responses to exposure to microbeads with in vivo endpoints such as growth rate and fecundity. Also, we proposed an adverse outcome pathway for microplastic exposure that covers molecular and individual levels. This study provides the first insight into the mode of action in terms of microplastic-induced oxidative stress and related signaling pathways in P. nana.
Article
Full-text available
Plastic pollution is a growing global concern. In the present study, we investigated plastic pollution in 21 species of sea fish and 6 species of freshwater fish from China. All of the species were found to ingest micro- or mesoplastics. The average abundance of microplastics varied from 1.1 to 7.2 items by individual and 0.2–17.2 items by gram. The average abundance of mesoplastics varied from 0.2 to 3.0 items by individual and 0.1–3.9 items by gram. Microplastics were abundant in 26 species, accounting for 55.9–92.3% of the total number of plastics items in each species. Thamnaconus septentrionalis contained the highest abundance of microplastics (7.2 items/individual). The average abundance of plastics in sea benthopelagic fishes was significantly higher than in freshwater benthopelagic fishes by items/individual. The plastics were dominanted by fiber in shape, transparent in color and cellophane in composition. The proportion of plastics in the stomach to the intestines showed great variation in different species, ranging from 0.5 to 1.9 by items/individual. The stomach of Harpodon nehereus and intestines of Pampus cinereus contained the highest number of plastics, (3.3) and (2.7), respectively, by items/individual. Our results suggested that plastic pollution was widespread in the investigated fish species and showed higher abundance in comparison with worldwide studies. The ingestion of plastics in fish was closely related to the habitat and gastrointestinal tract structure. We highly recommend that the entire gastrointestinal tract and digestion process be used in future investigations of plastic pollution in fish.
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean Sea has been recently proposed as one of the most impacted regions of the world with regards to microplastics, however the polymeric composition of these floating particles is still largely unknown. Here we present the results of a large-scale survey of neustonic micro- and meso-plastics floating in Mediterranean waters, providing the first extensive characterization of their chemical identity as well as detailed information on their abundance and geographical distribution. All particles >700 μm collected in our samples were identified through FT-IR analysis (n = 4050 particles), shedding for the first time light on the polymeric diversity of this emerging pollutant. Sixteen different classes of synthetic materials were identified. Low-density polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene were the most abundant compounds, followed by polyamides, plastic-based paints, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene and polyvinyl alcohol. Less frequent polymers included polyethylene terephthalate, polyisoprene, poly(vinyl stearate), ethylene-vinyl acetate, polyepoxide, paraffin wax and polycaprolactone, a biodegradable polyester reported for the first time floating in off-shore waters. Geographical differences in sample composition were also observed, demonstrating sub-basin scale heterogeneity in plastics distribution and likely reflecting a complex interplay between pollution sources, sinks and residence times of different polymers at sea.
Article
Full-text available
Following a request from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the EFSA Panel for Contaminants in the Food Chain was asked to deliver a statement on the presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in food, with particular focus on seafood. Primary microplastics are plastics originally manufactured to be that size, while secondary microplastics originate from fragmentation. Nanoplastics can originate from engineered material or can be produced during fragmentation of microplastic debris. Microplastics range from 0.1 to 5,000 lm and nanoplastics from approximately 1 to 100 nm (0.001–0.1 lm). There is no legislation for microplastics and nanoplastics as contaminants in food. Methods are available for identification and quantification of microplastics in food, including seafood. Occurrence data are limited. In contrast to microplastics no methods or occurrence data in food are available for nanoplastics. Microplastics can contain on average 4% of additives and the plastics can adsorb contaminants. Both additives and contaminants can be of organic as well of inorganic nature. Based on a conservative estimate the presence of microplastics in seafood would have a small effect on the overall exposure to additives or contaminants. Toxicity and toxicokinetic data are lacking for both microplastics and nanoplastics for a human risk assessment. It is recommended that analytical methods should be further developed for microplastics and developed for nanoplastics and standardised, in order to assess their presence, identity and to quantify their amount in food. Furthermore, quality assurance should be in place and demonstrated. For microplastics and nanoplastics, occurrence data in food, including effects of food processing, in particular, for the smaller sized particles (< 150 lm) should be generated. Research on the toxicokinetics and toxicity, including studies on local effects in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, are needed as is research on the degradation of microplastics and potential formation of nanoplastics in the human GI tract. Acknowledgements: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on the presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in food, with particular focus on seafood:
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics, plastic particles <5 mm, are an emerging concern in aquatic ecosystems. Because microplastics are small, they are available to many filter-feeding organisms, which can then be consumed by higher trophic level organisms, including humans. This study documents the quantity of microplastics present in wild and cultured Manila clams (Venerupis philippinarum). Three active shellfish farms and three reference beaches (i.e., non-shellfish farm sites) in Baynes Sound, British Columbia were chosen to examine the microplastic concentrations in wild and cultured Manila clams. Microplastics were isolated using a nitric acid digestion technique and enumerated from 54 clams (27 farmed and 27 non-farmed). Qualitative attributes, such as colour and microplastic type (fiber, fragment, or film) also were recorded. There was no significant difference (F = 1.29; df = 1,4; P = 0.289) between microplastic concentrations in cultured and wild clams. Microplastic concentrations ranged from 0.07 to 5.47 particles/g (from reference beach and shellfish farm clams, respectively). Fibers were the dominant microplastic (90 %); colourless and dark gray fibers were the most common colours observed (36 and 26 %, respectively). Although this indicates that microplastics are definitely present in seafood consumed by humans, shellfish aquaculture operations do not appear to be increasing microplastic concentrations in farmed clams in this region.
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics are persistent environmental contaminants found in marine environments worldwide. Microplastic particles isolated from coastlines in the Canterbury region of New Zealand were quantified and characterised. Sediment samples were collected from ten locations representing exposed-beach, estuarine and harbour environments in both urban and non-urban settings. Particles were isolated from sediments using a NaCl density-separation procedure and quantified and characterised with a combination of optical/fluorescence imaging and micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were detected at 8 out of 10 locations, at concentrations ranging from 0 – 45.4 particles kg-1 of dry sediment. The majority of microplastics were identified as polystyrene (55%), polyethylene (21%) and polypropylene (11%). Microplastic concentrations in exposed-beach environments were significantly greater than harbour and estuarine environments.
Article
Full-text available
Microplastic debris floating at the ocean surface can harm marine life. Understanding the severity of this harm requires knowledge of plastic abundance and distributions. Dozens of expeditions measuring microplastics have been carried out since the 1970s, but they have primarily focused on the North Atlantic and North Pacific accumulation zones, with much sparser coverage elsewhere. Here, we use the largest dataset of microplastic measurements assembled to date to assess the confidence we can have in global estimates of microplastic abundance and mass. We use a rigorous statistical framework to standardize a global dataset of plastic marine debris measured using surface-trawling plankton nets and coupled this with three different ocean circulation models to spatially interpolate the observations. Our estimates show that the accumulated number of microplastic particles in 2014 ranges from 15 to 51 trillion particles, weighing between 93 and 236 thousand metric tons, which is only approximately 1% of global plastic waste estimated to enter the ocean in the year 2010. These estimates are larger than previous global estimates, but vary widely because the scarcity of data in most of the world ocean, differences in model formulations, and fundamental knowledge gaps in the sources, transformations and fates of microplastics in the ocean.
Article
Full-text available
Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world’s oceans from 24 expeditions (2007–2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N5680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N5891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons. When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic ,4.75 mm and meso- and macroplastic .4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove ,4.75 mm plastic particles from the ocean surface.
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the effects of three sizes of polystyrene (PS) micro-beads (0.05, 0.5, and 6 µm diameter) on the survival, development, and fecundity of the copepod Tigriopus japonicus using acute and chronic toxicity tests. T. japonicus ingested and egested all three sizes of PS beads used and exhibited no selective feeding when phytoplankton were added. The copepods (nauplius and adult females) survived all sizes of PS beads and the various concentrations tested in the acute toxicity test for 96 h. In the two-generation chronic toxicity test, 0.05-µm PS beads at a concentration greater than 12.5 µg/mL caused the mortality of nauplii and copepodites in the F0 generation and even triggered mortality at a concentration of 1.25 µg/mL in the next generation. In the 0.5 µm PS bead treatment, despite there being no significant effect on the F0 generation, the highest concentration (25 µg/mL) induced a significant decrease in survival compared with the control population in the F1 generation. The 6 µm PS beads did not affect the survival of T. japonicus over two generations. The 0.5 and 6 µm PS beads caused a significant decrease in fecundity at all concentrations. These results suggest that microplastics such as micro- or nano-sized PS beads may have negative impacts on marine copepods.
Article
Full-text available
To quantify the occurrence of ingested plastic in fish species caught at different geographical positions in the North Sea, and to test whether the fish condition is affected by ingestion of plastics, 1203 individual fish of seven common North Sea species were investigated: herring, grey gurnard, whiting, horse mackerel, haddock, Atlantic mackerel, and cod. Plastic particles were found in 3.2 % of the examined fish and in five of the seven species. In most cases only one particle was found per fish, ranging in sizes from 0.04 to 4.8 mm, with a median size of 0.6 mm. The frequency of fish with a plastic particle was significantly higher (7.2%) in the southern North Sea, than in the northern North Sea above 55°N (1.3%). The highest frequency (>33%) was found in cod from the British Channel. In addition, small fibres were initially detected in most of the samples, but their abundance sharply decreased when working under special clean air conditions. Therefore these fibres were considered to be artefacts related to air born contamination and were excluded from the analyses. No relationship was found between the condition of the fish and the ingested small plastic particles.
Article
Full-text available
Small plastic detritus, termed 'microplastics', are a widespread and ubiquitous contaminant of marine ecosystems across the globe. Ingestion of microplastics by marine biota, including mussels, worms, fish and seabirds, has been widely reported, but despite their vital ecological role in marine food-webs, the impact of microplastics on zooplankton remains under-researched. Here, we show that microplastics are ingested by, and may impact upon, zooplankton. We used bio-imaging techniques to document ingestion, egestion and adherence of microplastics in a range of zooplankton common to the northeast Atlantic, and employed feeding rate studies to determine the impact of plastic detritus on algal ingestion rates in copepods. Using fluorescence and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy we identified that thirteen zooplankton taxa had the capacity to ingest 1.7 - 30.6 µm polystyrene beads, with uptake varying by taxa, life-stage and bead-size. Post-ingestion, copepods egested faecal pellets laden with microplastics. We further observed microplastics adhered to the external carapace and appendages of exposed zooplankton. Exposure of the copepod Centropages typicus to natural assemblages of algae with and without microplastics showed that 7.3 µm microplastics (>4000 ml-1) significantly decreased algal feeding. Our findings imply that marine microplastic debris can negatively impact upon zooplankton function and health.
Article
Full-text available
A global ocean circulation model is coupled to a Lagrangian particle tracking model to simulate 30 years of input, transport and accumulation of floating debris in the world ocean. Using both terrestrial and maritime inputs, the modelling results clearly show the formation of five accumulation zones in the subtropical latitudes of the major ocean basins. The relative size and concentration of each clearly illustrate the dominance of the accumulation zones in the northern hemisphere, while smaller seas surrounded by densely populated areas are also shown to have a high concentration of floating debris. We also determine the relative contribution of different source regions to the total amount of material in a particular accumulation zone. This study provides a framework for describing the transport, distribution and accumulation of floating marine debris and can be continuously updated and adapted to assess scenarios reflecting changes in the production and disposal of plastic worldwide.
Article
Microplastic particles (MPs) in the gastrointestinal tracts of nine fish species of commercial importance from different habitats (coastal, pelagic, and reef-associated) in the Saudi EEZ of the Arabian Gulf were quantified and classified. A total of eight MPs were retrieved from a total of 140 individual fish examined, with an average of 0.057 ± 0.019 microplastic items per fish (excluding possible plastic fibers). On average, 5.71%, of the fish dissected contained MPs, ranging from 5 to 15% of individual fish examined containing MPs among species (Siganus canaliculatus and Rastrelliger kanagurta, respectively). Ingested plastic consisted primarily of fishing threads (1.04 ± 0.06 mm), followed by fragments (1.16 ± 0.11 mm). It is likely that the fibers, originated from the fisheries, recreational boating, laundry, domestic wastewater, and other human activities, which is also widespread and abundant (found in 58.58% of the fish studied). Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) were identified as the most abundant polymers ingested by the fishes. There was no significant difference (p < 0.05) between the presence of microplastic in fish depending on their habitat. The prevalence of MPs is relatively low compared to those in other regions, despite the massive industrialization of the Saudi Arabian Gulf.
Article
Filter feeding organisms have been reported to ingest microplastics (MP) in marine environments. However, information regarding how long the ingested MPs are retained in their digestive tracts remains limited. Here, we report the gut retention time (GRT90) and the long-term egestion time of three different sized polystyrene microspheres (1, 10, and 90 μm) in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. We found significant differences in GRT90 with respect to MP size. With respect to the long-term egestion of MPs, most of the smaller MPs were excreted immediately, although some were detected intermittently until day 40. In comparison, larger MPs were slowly excreted in bulk, after which they were not detected. The results indicate that different sized MPs are retained differently in the digestive tract of mussels. The size-dependent effects of MPs should thus be considered when evaluating the effects of MPs in mussels.
Article
The development of methods to automatically determine the chemical nature of microplastics by FTIR-ATR spectra is an important challenge. A machine learning method, named k-nearest neighbors classification, has been applied on spectra of microplastics collected during Tara Expedition in the Mediterranean Sea (2014). To realize these tests, a learning database composed of 969 microplastic spectra has been created. Results show that the machine learning process is very efficient to identify spectra of classical polymers such as poly(ethylene), but also that the learning database must be enhanced with less common microplastic spectra. Finally, this method has been applied on more than 4000 spectra of unidentified microplastics. The verification protocol showed less than 10% difference in the results between the proposed automated method and a human expertise, 75% of which can be very easily corrected.
Article
This study assesses for the first time the ingestion of microplastics by giant clams and evaluates their importance as a sink for this pollutant. A total of 24 individuals of two size classes were collected from the Red Sea and then exposed for 12 days to 4 concentrations of polyethylene microbeads ranging from 53 to 500 μm. Experiments revealed that clams actively take up microplastic from the water column and the average of beads retained inside the animal was ∼7.55 ± 1.89 beads individual -1 day -1 (5.76 ± 1.16 MPs/g dw). However, the digestive tract itself cannot be considered the only sink of microbeads in Tridacnids. Indeed, shells play a key role as well. The abundance of microplastic adhering to the shells, which was estimated directly, was positively correlated to the concentration of beads found in the surrounding seawater. Therefore, clams' shells contribute to the removal of 66.03 ± 2.50% of the microplastic present in the water column. Furthermore, stress responses to the exposure to polyethylene were investigated. Gross Primary Production:Respiration (GPP:R) ratio decreased throughout of the experiment, but no significant difference was found between treatments and controls.
Article
Microplastic (MP) pollution was investigated, for the first time, in six commercial molluscs collected from the lagoon of Bizerte during March 2018. The objective of this study was to determine the bioavailability of MPs to marine organisms and their risk for consumers of seafood. MP concentrations varied from 703.95 ± 109.80 to 1482.82 ± 19.20 items kg −1 wet weight. Three types of coloured MPs, including fibres, fragments and films were recovered. Fibres were the most common MP type isolated in each species. The most common size class was 0.1-1 mm. The FTIR-ATR analysis confirmed the presence of two polymer types polyethylene and polypropylene. Our results suggest that MP pollution was widespread and exhibited a relatively high level in commercial molluscs collected from Bizerte lagoon, suggesting trophic transfer in the food web and human exposure risks by diet. More investigations on MPs should be conducted in seafood and other marine organisms.
Article
Global contamination of the marine environment by plastic has led to the discovery of microplastics in a range of marine species, including those for human consumption. In this study, the presence of micro-plastics and other anthropogenic debris in seawater and mussels (Mytilus edulis) from coastal waters of the U.K., as well as supermarket sources, was investigated. These were detected in all samples from all sites with spatial differences observed. Seawater samples taken from 6 locations (in triplicates) displayed 3.5 ± 2.0 debris items/L on average (range: 1.5e6.7 items/L). In wild mussels sampled from 8 locations around the U.K. coastal environment, the number of total debris items varied from 0.7 to 2.9 items/g of tissue and from 1.1 to 6.4 items/individual. For the supermarket bought mussels, the abundance of microplastics was significantly higher in pre-cooked mussels (1.4 items/g) compared with mussels supplied live (0.9 items/g). Micro-FT-IR spectroscopy was conducted on 136 randomly selected samples, with 94 items characterized. The spectra found that 50% of these debris items characterized were microplastic, with an additional 37% made up of rayon and cotton fibers. The microplastic levels detected in the supermarket bought mussels present a route for human exposure and suggests that their quan-tification be included as food safety management measures as well as for environmental monitoring health measures.
Article
Microplastics are present in aquatic ecosystems the world over and may influence the feeding, growth, reproduction, and survival of freshwater and marine biota; however, the extent and magnitude of potential effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms is poorly understood. In the current study, we conducted a meta-analysis of published literature to examine impacts of exposure to microplastics on consumption (and feeding), growth, reproduction, and survival of fish and aquatic invertebrates. While we did observe within-taxa negative effects for all four categories of responses, many of the effects summarized in our study were neutral, indicating that the effects of exposure to microplastics are highly variable across taxa. The most consistent effect was a reduction in consumption of natural prey when microplastics were present. For some taxa, negative effects on growth, reproduction and even survival were also evident. Organisms that serve as prey to larger predators, e.g., zooplankton, may be particularly susceptible to negative impacts of exposure to microplastic pollution, with potential for ramifications throughout the food web. Future work should focus on whether microplastics may be affecting aquatic organisms more subtly, e.g., by influencing exposure to contaminants and pathogens, or by acting at a molecular level.
Article
Alkaline and wet peroxide oxidation (WPO) chemical digestion techniques used to extract microplastics from organic matrices were assessed for recoveries and for impacts on ability to identify polymer types. Methods using WPO generated enough heat to result in the complete loss of some types of microplastic particles, and boiling tests confirmed that temperatures >70 °C were responsible for the losses. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) confirmed minimal alteration of the recovered polymers by the applied methods. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Measurements of microplastics in biota and abiotic matrices are key elements of exposure and risk assessments for this emerging environmental pollutant. We investigated the abundance of microplastics in field-collected biota, sediment and water. An improved sediment extraction method, based on density separation was developed. For analysis of microplastics in biota we found that an adapted enzymatic digestion protocol using proteinase K performed best, with a 97% recovery of spiked plastic particles and no observed degradation effects on the plastics in subsequent Raman analysis. Field analysis revealed that 8 of 9 tested invertebrate species from the North Sea and 68% of analyzed individuals of brown trout (Salmo trutta) from the Swedish West Coast had microplastics in them. Based on the number of plastic particles per kg d.w. the microplastic concentrations found in mussels were approximately a thousand-fold higher compared to those in sediment and surface water samples from the same location.
Article
This is the first survey to investigate the occurrence and extent of microplastic (MPs) contamination in sub surface waters collected near-shore and off-shore the coastal area of the Ross Sea (Antarctica). Moreover, a non-invasive method to analyze MPs, consisting in filtration after water sampling and analysis of the dried filter through Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) 2D Imaging, using an FPA detector, was proposed. The non-invasiveness of analytical set-up reduces potential bias and allows subsequent analysis of the filter sample for determination of other classes of contaminants. MPs ranged from 0.0032 to 1.18 particle per m³ of seawater, with a mean value of 0.17 ± 0.34 particle m⁻³, showing concentrations lower than those found in the oceans worldwide. MPs included fragments (mean 71.9 ± 21.6%), fibers (mean 12.7 ± 14.3%), and others (mean 15.4 ± 12.8%). The presence of different types of MPs was confirmed by FTIR spectroscopy, with predominant abundance of polyethylene and polypropylene. The potential environmental impact arising from scientific activities, such as marine activities for scientific purposes, and from the sewage treatment plant, was also evidenced.
Article
This study assessed the capability of Crangon crangon (L.), an ecologically and commercially important crustacean, of consuming plastics as an opportunistic feeder. We therefore determined the microplastic content of shrimp in shallow water habitats of the Channel area and Southern part of the North Sea. Synthetic fibers ranging from 200 µm up to 1000 µm size were detected in 63 % of the assessed shrimp and an average value of 0.68 ± 0.55 microplastics/ g w. w. (1.23 ± 0.99 microplastics/ shrimp) was obtained for shrimp in the sampled area. The assessment revealed no spatial patterns in plastic ingestion, but temporal differences were reported. The microplastic uptake was significantly higher in October compared to March. The results suggest that microplastics > 20 µm are not able to translocate into the tissues.
Article
Microplastic litter is a pervasive pollutant present in aquatic systems across the globe. A range of marine organisms have the capacity to ingest microplastics, resulting in adverse health effects. Developing methods to accurately quantify microplastics in productive marine waters, and those internalized by marine organisms, is of growing importance. Here we investigate the efficacy of using acid, alkaline and enzymatic digestion techniques in mineralizing biological material from marine surface trawls to reveal any microplastics present. Our optimized enzymatic protocol can digest >97% (by weight) of the material present in plankton-rich seawater samples without destroying any microplastic debris present. In applying the method to replicate marine samples from the western English Channel, we identified 0.27 microplastics m(-3). The protocol was further used to extract microplastics ingested by marine zooplankton under laboratory conditions. Our findings illustrate that enzymatic digestion can aid the detection of microplastic debris within seawater samples and marine biota.
Article
Experiments were carried out with different Baltic Sea zooplankton taxa to scan their potential to ingest plastics. Mysid shrimps, copepods, cladocerans, rotifers, polychaete larvae and ciliates were exposed to 10 μm fluorescent polystyrene microspheres. These experiments showed ingestion of microspheres in all taxa studied. The highest percentage of individuals with ingested spheres was found in pelagic polychaete larvae, Marenzelleria spp. Experiments with the copepod Eurytemora affinis and the mysid shrimp Neomysis integer showed egestion of microspheres within 12 h. Food web transfer experiments were done by offering zooplankton labelled with ingested microspheres to mysid shrimps. Microscopy observations of mysid intestine showed the presence of zooplankton prey and microspheres after 3 h incubation. This study shows for the first time the potential of plastic microparticle transfer via planktonic organisms from one trophic level (mesozooplankton) to a higher level (macrozooplankton). The impacts of plastic transfer and possible accumulation in the food web need further investigations.
An Analysis of European Plastics Production, Demand and Waste Data
  • Plasticseurope
PlasticsEurope, 2019. Plastics -the Facts 2019. An Analysis of European Plastics Production, Demand and Waste Data.
Anthropogenic debris in seafood: plastic debris and fibers from textiles in fish and bivalves sold for human consumption
  • C M Rochman
  • A Tahir
  • S L Williams
  • D V Baxa
  • R Lam
  • J T Miller
  • F The
  • S Werorilangi
  • S J The
Rochman, C.M., Tahir, A., Williams, S.L., Baxa, D.V., Lam, R., Miller, J.T., The, F., Werorilangi, S., The, S.J., 2015. Anthropogenic debris in seafood: plastic debris and fibers from textiles in fish and bivalves sold for human consumption. Sci. Rep. 5, 14340.
Towards the suitable monitoring of ingestion of microplastics by marine biota: a review
  • S Webb
  • H Ruffell
  • I Marsden
  • I Pantos
  • S Gaw
  • C Wesch
  • K Bredimus
  • M Paulus
  • R Klein
Webb, S., Ruffell, H., Marsden, I., Pantos, I., Gaw, S., 2019. Microplastics in the New Zealand green lipped mussel Perna canaliculus. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 149, 110641. Wesch, C., Bredimus, K., Paulus, M., Klein, R., 2016. Towards the suitable monitoring of ingestion of microplastics by marine biota: a review. Environ. Pollut. 218, 1200-1208.