Micro- (nano) plastics in freshwater ecosystems: Abundance, toxicological impact and quantification methodology

Elsevier, TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 110, January 2019, Pages 116-128.
Authors: 
Stefan-Adrian Strungaru, Roxana Jijie, Mircea Nicoara, Gabriel Plavan and Caterina Faggio.

Plastics entering the environment will persist and continue to degrade and fragment to smaller particles under the action of various environmental factors. These microplastics (MP) and nanoplastics (NP) are likely to pose a higher environmental impact, as well as they are more prone to adsorb organic contaminants and pathogens from the surrounding media, due to their higher surface area to volume ratio. Little known on their characteristics, fragmentation, distribution and impact on freshwater ecosystems. In order to respond to these open questions concerning the plastic particles dynamics and their environmental effects, detailed sampling strategies as well as an automated, rapid, cheap and reliable analytical technique suitable for routine analysis need to be developed. The review outlines the recent advances made on examination of the potential toxicological effects of MP and NP on freshwater biota, as well as the available analytical methods employed to identify and quantify them in environmental samples.