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Liqi Cai, Jundong Wang, Jinping Peng, Ziqing Wu, Xiangling Tan
Plastic debris represents one of the most prevalent and persistent pollution problems in the marine environment. In particular, microplastics that are mainly degraded from larger plastic debris have become a growing environmental concern. However, studies on the degradation of plastics in the aquatic environment that hydrobios reside in have been limited, while several studies regarding the degradation of plastics have been conducted under outdoor or accelerated weathering conditions. Thus, observation of the degradation of three types of virgin plastic pellets exposed to UV irradiation in three different environments (i...
February 14, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Pui Kwan Cheung, Lincoln Fok, Pui Lam Hung, Lewis T O Cheung
Rivers are recognised as an important source of plastic debris in the open sea. The Pearl River in China is estimated to transport 0.1milliontonnes of plastic waste to the open sea annually. However, no empirical study has been conducted to assess the plastic contamination levels in the Pearl River Estuary. Hong Kong is situated in the east of the Pearl River Estuary; its western waters are strongly influenced by river discharge, whereas the eastern waters are unaffected by the freshwater plume. In this study, we quantified the neustonic plastic debris density in the western and eastern waters of Hong Kong...
February 14, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Guilherme V B Ferreira, Mário Barletta, André R A Lima, Simon A Morley, Anne K S Justino, Monica F Costa
Microplastic contamination was investigated in the gut contents of an economically important estuarine top predator, Cynoscion acoupa, according to spatiotemporal and ontogenetic use of a tropical estuary. Microplastic contamination was found in more than half of the analysed fish. Ingested microplastics were classified by type, colour and length with most of the particles consisting of filaments (<5 mm). Longer filaments were more frequently ingested in the upper estuary and smaller filaments in the lower estuary, as a result of differences in hydrodynamic forces and proximity to the probable input sources...
February 13, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Alexandre Pacheco, Alexandra Martins, Lúcia Guilhermino
The effects of emerging environmental contaminants on human and environmental health is of high concern, especially those potentially induced by mixtures. The main goal of the present study was to assess the chronic effects of mixtures of citrate stabilized ≈5 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNP) and 1-5μm microplastics (MP) on Daphnia magna. A 21-day bioassay was carried out. The effect criteria were parental mortality, somatic growth and several reproductive parameters. AuNP induced parental mortality, reduced the total offspring and caused immobile juveniles and aborted eggs...
February 13, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Luís Gabriel Antão Barboza, Luís Russo Vieira, Lúcia Guilhermino
Microplastics and mercury are environmental pollutants of great concern. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the effects of these pollutants, both individually and in binary mixtures, on the swimming performance of juvenile European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax. Microplastics alone, mercury alone and all the mixtures caused significant reduction of the swimming velocity and resistance time of fish. Moreover, changes in behavioural responses including lethargic and erratic swimming behaviour were observed...
February 12, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Michael Scheurer, Moritz Bigalke
Microplastics (MPs) are small (<5 mm diameter) but have clear implications for the environment. These artificial particles are found in and pose threats to aquatic systems worldwide. MPs have terrestrial sources, but their concentrations and fates in the terrestrial environment are poorly understood. Whilst global plastic production continues to increase, so do the environmental concentrations and impacts of MPs. In this first study of MPs in floodplain soils, we developed a method for identifying, quantifying, and measuring the sizes of most commonly produced MPs in soil by FT-IR microscopy...
February 15, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Lisa Lahens, Emilie Strady, Thuy-Chung Kieu-Le, Rachid Dris, Kada Boukerma, Emmanuel Rinnert, Johnny Gasperi, Bruno Tassin
Both macroplastic and microplastic contamination levels were assessed for the first time in a tropical river estuary system, i.e. the Saigon River, that traverses a developing South East Asian megacity, i.e. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The analysis of floating debris collected daily on the Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe canal by the municipal waste management service shows that the plastic mass percentage represents 11-43%, and the land-based plastic debris entering the river was estimated from 0.96 to 19.91 g inhabitant -1 d -1 , namely 350 to 7270 g inhabitant -1 yr -1 ...
February 10, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Agathe Bour, Ane Haarr, Steffen Keiter, Ketil Hylland
Most microplastics are expected to sink and end up in marine sediments. However, very little is known concerning their potential impact on sediment-dwelling organisms. We studied the long-term impact of microplastic exposure on two sediment-dwelling bivalve species. Ennucula tenuis and Abra nitida were exposed to polyethylene microparticles at three concentrations (1; 10 and 25 mg/kg of sediment) for four weeks. Three size classes (4-6; 20-25 and 125-500 μm) were used to study the influence of size on microplastic ecotoxicity...
February 9, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Maria Sighicelli, Loris Pietrelli, Francesca Lecce, Valentina Iannilli, Mauro Falconieri, Lucia Coscia, Stefania Di Vito, Simone Nuglio, Giorgio Zampetti
Plastic debris incidence in marine environment was already highlighted in the early 1970s. Over the last decade, microplastic pollution in the environment has received increasing attention and is now an emerging research area. Many studies have focused on quantifying microplastic abundance in the marine environment, while there are relatively few data on microplastic occurrence in freshwater environment. Recent studies have reported high concentrations of microplastics in lakes and rivers, although the understanding of several factors influencing source, transport and fate is still limited...
February 9, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Heng-Xiang Li, Li-Sha Ma, Lang Lin, Zhi-Xin Ni, Xiang-Rong Xu, Hua-Hong Shi, Yan Yan, Guang-Ming Zheng, Daniel Rittschof
As a transitional zone between riverine and marine environments, an estuary plays an important role for the sources, accumulation and transport of microplastics. Although estuarine environments are hotspots of microplastic pollution, the correlation between microplastic pollution and aquatic organisms is less known. Here we investigated microplastic pollution in wild oysters Saccostrea cucullata from 11 sampling sites along the Pearl River Estuary in South China. The microplastic abundances in oysters ranged from 1...
February 9, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Elitza S Germanov, Andrea D Marshall, Lars Bejder, Maria Cristina Fossi, Neil R Loneragan
Microplastic pollution can impact filter-feeding marine megafauna, namely mobulid rays, filter-feeding sharks, and baleen whales. Emerging research on these flagship species highlights potential exposure to microplastic contamination and plastic-associated toxins. Research and its wide communication are needed to understand the magnitude of the issue and improve marine stewardship.
February 5, 2018: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Elena Hengstmann, Matthias Tamminga, Constantin Vom Bruch, Elke Kerstin Fischer
To extent the understanding on microplastics in the marine environment we performed a case study at four beaches on the Isle of Rügen considering abundance and spatial distribution of microplastics in beach sediments. For the analysis, density separation via a glass elutriation column was implemented. In advance, efficiencies were tested for two polymers, being not buoyant in water. Recovery rates of 80% for PET and 72% for PVC particles in sandy samples were achieved. A median abundance of 88.10 (Q1=55.01/Q3=114...
January 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Laurent Brach, Patrick Deixonne, Marie-France Bernard, Edmée Durand, Marie-Christine Desjean, Emile Perez, Erik van Sebille, Alexandra Ter Halle
There are fundamental gaps in our understanding of the fates of microplastics in the ocean, which must be overcome if the severity of this pollution is to be fully assessed. The predominant pattern is high accumulation of microplastic in subtropical gyres. Using in situ measurements from the 7th Continent expedition in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, data from satellite observations and models, we show how microplastic concentrations were up to 9.4 times higher in an anticyclonic eddy explored, compared to the cyclonic eddy...
January 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Saskia Rehse, Werner Kloas, Christiane Zarfl
Abstract: Microplastics can have direct physical effects on organisms in freshwater systems, and are considered as vectors for absorbed environmental pollutants. It is still under discussion if microplastics are relevant pollutant vectors for uptake into aquatic organisms in comparison to further uptake pathways, e.g., via water or sediment particles. We analyzed how the presence of microplastics (polyamide particles, PA) modifies acute effects of the environmental pollutant bisphenol A (BPA) on freshwater zooplankton (Daphnia magna)...
February 6, 2018: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Julia Kleinteich, Sven Seidensticker, Nikolaj Marggrander, Christiane Zarfl
Microplastic particles in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are currently discussed as an emerging persistent organic pollutant and as acting as a vector for hydrophobic chemicals. Microplastic particles may ultimately deposit and accumulate in soil as well as marine and freshwater sediments where they can be harmful to organisms. In this study, we tested the sensitivity of natural freshwater sediment bacterial communities (by genetic fingerprint) to exposure to microplastics (polyethylene, 2 and 20 mg/g sediment) and microplastics loaded with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, phenanthrene and anthracene), using a laboratory-based approach...
February 7, 2018: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Shima Ziajahromi, Anupama Kumar, Peta A Neale, Frederic D L Leusch
Microplastics are a widespread environmental pollutant in aquatic ecosystems and have the potential to eventually sink to the sediment, where they may pose a risk to sediment-dwelling organisms. While the impacts of exposure to microplastics have been widely reported for marine biota, the effects of microplastics on freshwater organisms at environmentally realistic concentrations are largely unknown, especially for benthic organisms. Here we examined the effects of a realistic concentration of polyethylene microplastics in sediment on the growth and emergence of a freshwater organism Chironomus tepperi...
February 5, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Thorsten Hüffer, Anne-Katrin Weniger, Thilo Hofmann
Microplastics that are released into the environment undergo aging and interact with other substances such as organic contaminants. Understanding the sorption interactions between aged microplastics and organic contaminants is therefore essential for evaluating the impact of microplastics on the environment. There is little information available on how the aging of microplastics affects their sorption behavior and other properties. We have therefore investigated the effects of an accelerated UV-aging procedure on polystyrene microplastics, which are used in products such as skin cleaners and foams...
January 30, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Hoi-Shing Lo, Xiaoyu Xu, Chun-Yuen Wong, Siu-Gin Cheung
Most of the previous studies of microplastic pollution on coastal habitats focused on high energy beaches although low energy areas such as mudflats are supposed to retain more microplastics, not to mention that mudflats are biologically more diverse. We quantified and characterized microplastics from 10 mudflats and 10 sandy beaches in Hong Kong spanning from the eastern to western waters. Sediment samples were collected at 1.0 m and 1.5 m above chart datum (CD) and at the strandline. Abundance of microplastics ranged between 0...
January 30, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Alice A Horton, Monika D Jürgens, Elma Lahive, Peter M van Bodegom, Martina G Vijver
Microplastics are widespread throughout aquatic environments. However, there is currently insufficient understanding of the factors influencing ingestion of microplastics by organisms, especially higher predators such as fish. In this study we link ingestion of microplastics by the roach Rutilus rutilus, within the non-tidal part of the River Thames, to exposure and physiological factors. Microplastics were found within the gut contents of roach from six out of seven sampling sites. Of sampled fish, 33% contained at least one microplastic particle...
January 30, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Mirka Lares, Mohamed Chaker Ncibi, Markus Sillanpää, Mika Sillanpää
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are acting as routes of microplastics (MPs) to the environment, hence the urgent need to examine MPs in wastewaters and different types of sludge through sampling campaigns covering extended periods of time. In this study, the efficiency of a municipal WWTP to remove MPs from wastewater was studied by collecting wastewater and sludge samples once in every two weeks during a 3-month sampling campaign. The WWTP was operated based on the conventional activated sludge (CAS) process and a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR)...
January 26, 2018: Water Research
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