Management of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) in Environment - Chapter 10: Microplastics as an Emerging Contaminant in Environment: Occurrence, Distribution, and Management Strategy

Elsevier, Management of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) in Environment, 2021. 
Jain S., Mishra D., Khare, P.

The rising concern about entrance of newer organic contaminants in the environment has been considered as a key issue. Microplastics (MPs) are now considered as emerging contaminants, being identified all over the places: ocean, surface waters, wastewaters, soils, sediments, atmosphere, and food. Plastics are the main source of MPs and their fragmentation leads to environmental damage. They hold natural contaminations, and can be ingested by animals and subsequently brought into the food web. MPs likewise can be a transporter for pathogens while airborne fibrous MPs may be inhaled and cause potential threat to people. Currently fibers, foams, fragments, are the chief source of MPs and thus vary in sizes, coloration, shapes, and types of substances.

They are chiefly made up of polypropylene (PP), polyesters, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), and polystyrene (PS). Their persistent travel across various aquatic systems might get converted into nanoplastics and thus ingested by marine fauna and later enter into the human food chain. However, their management strategies must pay attention to supply reduction and ultimately at the development of cost-effective clean up and remediation methods. Present chapter has outlined the microplastic pollution including their source, toxicity and remediation techniques. This would further help in constructing appropriate understanding about monitoring, threat and regulation about MPs in the environment as an emerging pollutant.