Microplastics

Graphical abstract of article
Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) have attracted considerable attention in the recent years as potential threats to the ecosystem and public health. This review summarizes current knowledge of pathological events triggered by micro- and nano-plastics (MP/NPs) with focus on oxidative damages at different levels of biological complexity (molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, individual and population).
As the global production of plastics continues to accelerate, the ubiquitous presence of microplastics (μPs) has emerged as a significant marine problem. To comprehend fully the potential impacts and ecological harm caused by μPs it is vital that there is an understanding of their potential sources and sinks; the processes affecting their distribution; and their uptake and exchange in ecosystems.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 116, July 2019
For seventy years, mass plastic production and waste mismanagement have resulted in huge pollution of the environment, including the marine environment. The first mention of seafood contaminated by microplastics was recorded in the seventies, and to date numerous studies have been carried out on shellfish, fish and crustaceans. Based on an ad hoc corpus, the current review aims to report on the numerous practices and methodologies described so far.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 113, April 2019
Although the study of the effects of microplastics increased in the last years, terrestrial ecosystems remain less studied. In fact, the effects of microplastics in insects, the most abundant group of animals and major providers of key Ecosystem Services, are not well known despite the potential cascading negative effects on the ecosystems functioning in the habitats where they occur.
Plastic pollution is a global problem since 2016 when its production reached 322 million tonnes, excluding fibers. Daily discharges of microplastics (MPs, defined as
Microplastics (MP) provide a unique and extensive surface for microbial colonization in aquatic ecosystems. The formation of microorganism-microplastic complexes, such as biofilms, maximizes the degradation of organic matter and horizontal gene transfer. In this context, MP affect the structure and function of microbial communities, which in turn render the physical and chemical fate of MP. This new paradigm generates challenges for microbiology, ecology, and ecotoxicology.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 112, March 2019
Nanoplastic is an emerging topic of relevance in environmental science. The analytical methods for microplastic have a particle size limit of a few micrometers so that new methods have to be developed to cover the nanometer range. This contribution reviews the progress in environmental nanoplastic analysis and critically evaluates which techniques from nanomaterial analysis may potentially be adapted to close the methodological gap. A roadmap is brought forward for the whole analytical process from sample treatment to particle characterization.
Characterising microplastics based on spectroscopic measurements is one key step of many studies that analyse the fate of microplastics in the environment. Over the years, many potential sources of error were identified, which can be seen by the implementation of anti-contamination protocols, measuring laboratory blanks or using less aggressive chemicals for sample purification. However, the identification process itself in the meaning of a traceable and transparent documentation is hard to find in many research studies.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 111, February 2019
Following a decade of research on the environmental impacts of microplastics, a knowledge gap remains on the processes by which micro and nanoplastics pass across biological barriers, enter cells and are subject to biological mechanisms. Here we summarize available literature on the accumulation of microplastics and their associated contaminants in a variety of organisms including humans. Most data on the accumulation of microplastics in both field and lab studies are for marine invertebrates.

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