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Karen Duis, Anja Coors
Due to the widespread use and durability of synthetic polymers, plastic debris occurs in the environment worldwide. In the present work, information on sources and fate of microplastic particles in the aquatic and terrestrial environment, and on their uptake and effects, mainly in aquatic organisms, is reviewed. Microplastics in the environment originate from a variety of sources. Quantitative information on the relevance of these sources is generally lacking, but first estimates indicate that abrasion and fragmentation of larger plastic items and materials containing synthetic polymers are likely to be most relevant...
2016: Environmental Sciences Europe
Pablo Pena Gandara E Silva, Caio Rodrigues Nobre, Pryscila Resaffe, Camilo Dias Seabra Pereira, Felipe Gusmão
Microplastic debris is a pervasive type of contaminant in marine ecosystems, being considered a major threat to marine biota. One of the problems of microplastics is that they can adsorb contaminants in extremely high concentrations. When released from the particle, these contaminants have the potential to cause toxic effects in the biota. So far, reports of toxic effects are mostly linked with the direct exposure of organisms through ingestion of contaminated microplastics. There is little information on the toxicity of leachates from microplastics to marine organisms...
October 8, 2016: Water Research
A Rodriguez-Seijo, J Lourenço, T A P Rocha-Santos, J da Costa, A C Duarte, H Vala, R Pereira
The ocean has been assumed as the main sink of microplastics (MPs), however, soils may also receive MPs from different sources and through different pathways, which may affect the biota and their role in soil functions. To the best of our knowledge, only one study, until now, reported the effects of MPs on the survival and fitness of soil organisms (Lumbricus terrestris). In our study, epigeic earthworms, of the species E. andrei, were exposed to different concentrations of MPs (0, 62.5, 125, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg soildw) in an OECD artificial soil and tested for reproduction, survival and growth of adults, following a standard protocol...
October 13, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Ellen Besseling, Joris T K Quik, Muzhi Sun, Albert A Koelmans
Riverine transport to the marine environment is an important pathway for microplastic. However, information on fate and transport of nano- and microplastic in freshwater systems is lacking. Here we present scenario studies on the fate and transport of nano-to millimetre sized spherical particles like microbeads (100 nm-10 mm) with a state of the art spatiotemporally resolved hydrological model. The model accounts for advective transport, homo- and heteroaggregation, sedimentation-resuspension, polymer degradation, presence of biofilm and burial...
October 12, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Esperanza Huerta Lwanga, Hennie Gertsen, Harm Gooren, Piet Peters, Tamás Salánki, Martine van der Ploeg, Ellen Besseling, Albert A Koelmans, Violette Geissen
Pollution caused by plastic debris is an urgent environmental problem. Here, we assessed the effects of microplastics in the soil surface litter on the formation and characterization of burrows built by the anecic earthworm Lumbricus terrestris in soil and quantified the amount of microplastics that was transported and deposited in L. terrestris burrows. Worms were exposed to soil surface litter treatments containing microplastics (Low Density Polyethylene) for 2 weeks at concentrations of 0%, 7%, 28%, 45% and 60%...
October 7, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Elena Esiukova
Contamination of sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea in Kaliningrad region is evaluated on the base of surveys carried out from June 2015 to January 2016. Quantity of macro/meso/microplastic objects in the upper 2cm of the sandy sediments of the wrack zone at 13 sampling sites all along the Russian coast is reported. Occurrence of paraffin and amber pieces at the same sites is pointed out. Special attention is paid to microplastics (range 0.5-5mm): its content ranges between 1.3 and 36.3 items per kg dry sediment...
October 7, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Andrea Käppler, Dieter Fischer, Sonja Oberbeckmann, Gerald Schernewski, Matthias Labrenz, Klaus-Jochen Eichhorn, Brigitte Voit
The contamination of aquatic ecosystems with microplastics has recently been reported through many studies, and negative impacts on the aquatic biota have been described. For the chemical identification of microplastics, mainly Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy are used. But up to now, a critical comparison and validation of both spectroscopic methods with respect to microplastics analysis is missing. To close this knowledge gap, we investigated environmental samples by both Raman and FTIR spectroscopy...
October 8, 2016: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Merel Kooi, Julia Reisser, Boyan Slat, Francesco F Ferrari, Moritz S Schmid, Serena Cunsolo, Roberto Brambini, Kimberly Noble, Lys-Anne Sirks, Theo E W Linders, Rosanna I Schoeneich-Argent, Albert A Koelmans
Most studies on buoyant microplastics in the marine environment rely on sea surface sampling. Consequently, microplastic amounts can be underestimated, as turbulence leads to vertical mixing. Models that correct for vertical mixing are based on limited data. In this study we report measurements of the depth profile of buoyant microplastics in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, from 0 to 5 m depth. Microplastics were separated into size classes (0.5-1.5 and 1.5-5.0 mm) and types ('fragments' and 'lines'), and associated with a sea state...
October 10, 2016: Scientific Reports
Elsa Fonte, Pedro Ferreira, Lúcia Guilhermino
The goal of this study was to investigate the toxicity of cefalexin to Pomatoschistus microps juveniles in relation to the presence of microplastics in the water and temperature rise. After acclimatization, groups of wild juveniles were exposed for 96h to artificial salt water (control), microplastics alone (0.184mg/l), cefalexin alone (1.3-10mg/l) and in mixture with microplastics (cefalexin: 1.3-10mg/l; microplastics: 0.184mg/l) at 20 and 25°C. Effect criteria were mortality, post-exposure predatory performance (PEPP), acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE) and lipid peroxidation levels (LPO)...
September 24, 2016: Aquatic Toxicology
Dagmara Wójcik-Fudalewska, Monika Normant-Saremba, Pedro Anastácio
The Chinese mitten crab is known as a pest causing damage to fishing gears and fish. On the other hand, this highly invasive species is considered a delicacy by Asian migrants and therefore commercially fished and sold in many countries. The ingestion of plastic by the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis from the Baltic coastal waters (Poland) and the Tagus Estuary (Portugal) was studied based on stomach content analysis. As many as 13% of the 302 analysed males and females (38.07-89.07mm carapace width) from both regions, contained microplastic in the form of strands and balls...
October 4, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Lincoln Fok, Pui Kwan Cheung, Guangda Tang, Wai Chin Li
Beach environments are known to be conducive to fragmentation of plastic debris, and highly fragmented plastic particles can interact with smaller organisms. Even through stranded plastic debris may not interact directly with marine organisms, backwash processes may transport this debris back to coastal waters, where it may affect a wide range of marine life at different trophic levels. This study analysed the size distribution of stranded plastic debris (<10 mm) collected from eight coastal beaches in Guangdong Province, China...
October 4, 2016: Environmental Pollution
A R McGoran, P F Clark, D Morritt
Like many urban catchments, the River Thames in London is contaminated with plastics. This pollutant is recorded on the river banks, in the benthic environment and in the water column. The present study was conducted to assess the extent of microplastic ingestion in two River Thames fish species, the European flounder (Platichthys flesus) and European smelt (Osmerus eperlanus). Samples were collected from two sites in Kent, England; Erith and Isle of Grain/Sheppey, near Sheerness, with the latter being more estuarine...
September 30, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Matthew Cole
Microscopic plastic (microplastic, 0.1 µm-5 mm) is a widespread pollutant impacting upon aquatic ecosystems across the globe. Environmental sampling has revealed synthetic fibers are prevalent in seawater, sediments and biota. However, microplastic fibers are rarely used in laboratory studies as they are unavailable for purchase and existing preparation techniques have limited application. To facilitate the incorporation of environmentally relevant microplastic fibers into future studies, new methods are required...
October 3, 2016: Scientific Reports
Wenfeng Wang, Anne Wairimu Ndungu, Zhen Li, Jun Wang
Microplastics have been considered as an emerging pollutant in the aquatic environment. However, research about microplastic pollution in inland freshwaters of China is insufficient. The present study investigated the levels of microplastics in surface water of 20 urban lakes and urban reaches of the Hanjiang River and Yangtze River of Wuhan, the largest city in central China. Microplastic concentrations ranged from 1660.0±639.1 to 8925±1591n/m(3) for the studied waters, with the highest concentration found in Bei Lake...
September 29, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Alice A Horton, Claus Svendsen, Richard J Williams, David J Spurgeon, Elma Lahive
: Sewage effluent input and population were chosen as predictors of microplastic presence in sediments at four sites in the River Thames basin (UK). Large microplastic particles (1mm-4mm) were extracted using a stepwise approach to include visual extraction, flotation and identification using Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were found at all four sites. One site had significantly higher numbers of microplastics than other sites, average 66 particles 100g(-1), 91% of which were fragments...
September 27, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
M L Taylor, C Gwinnett, L F Robinson, L C Woodall
Plastic waste is a distinctive indicator of the world-wide impact of anthropogenic activities. Both macro- and micro-plastics are found in the ocean, but as yet little is known about their ultimate fate and their impact on marine ecosystems. In this study we present the first evidence that microplastics are already becoming integrated into deep-water organisms. By examining organisms that live on the deep-sea floor we show that plastic microfibres are ingested and internalised by members of at least three major phyla with different feeding mechanisms...
September 30, 2016: Scientific Reports
Kosuke Tanaka, Hideshige Takada
We investigated microplastics in the digestive tracts of 64 Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) sampled in Tokyo Bay. Plastic was detected in 49 out of 64 fish (77%), with 2.3 pieces on average and up to 15 pieces per individual. All of the plastics were identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Most were polyethylene (52.0%) or polypropylene (43.3%). Most of the plastics were fragments (86.0%), but 7.3% were beads, some of which were microbeads, similar to those found in facial cleansers. Eighty percent of the plastics ranged in size from 150 μm to 1000 μm, smaller than the reported size range of floating microplastics on the sea surface, possibly because the subsurface foraging behavior of the anchovy reflected the different size distribution of plastics between surface waters and subsurface waters...
September 30, 2016: Scientific Reports
Atsuhiko Isobe, Kaori Uchiyama-Matsumoto, Keiichi Uchida, Tadashi Tokai
A field survey to collect microplastics with sizes <5mm was conducted in the Southern Ocean in 2016. We performed five net-tows and collected 44 pieces of plastic. Total particle counts of the entire water column, which is free of vertical mixing, were computed using the surface concentration (particle count per unit seawater volume) of microplastics, wind speed, and significant wave height during the observation period. Total particle counts at two stations near Antarctica were estimated to be in the order of 100,000pieceskm(-2)...
September 26, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Imogen E Napper, Richard C Thompson
Washing clothes made from synthetic materials has been identified as a potentially important source of microscopic fibres to the environment. This study examined the release of fibres from polyester, polyester-cotton blend and acrylic fabrics. These fabrics were laundered under various conditions of temperature, detergent and conditioner. Fibres from waste effluent were examined and the mass, abundance and fibre size compared between treatments. Average fibre size ranged between 11.9 and 17.7μm in diameter, and 5...
November 15, 2016: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Luca Nizzetto, Martyn Futter, Sindre Langaas
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 18, 2016: Environmental Science & Technology
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