Significance of interactions between microplastics and POPs in the marine environment: A critical overview

Elsevier, TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 111, 2019, Pages 252-260,
Joana Patrício Rodrigues, Armando C. Duarte, Juan Santos-Echeandía, Teresa Rocha-Santos

The presence of plastic debris in the ocean is increasing and several effects in the marine environment have been reported. A great number of studies have demonstrated that microplastics (MPs) adsorb organic compounds concentrating them several orders of magnitude than the levels found in their surrounding environment, therefore they could be potential vectors of these contaminants to biota. However, a consensus on MPs as vectors of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has not been reached since are opposing views among different researchers on this topic. However, all agree that more extensive studies are needed to clarify this relationship. This review reunites information reporting the factors that drive the sorption dynamics between MPs and POPs, which essentially corresponds to polymer properties and surrounding environmental variables. Furthermore, this review highlights several supporting and rebuttal arguments in the direction to clear up the real hazard enforced by the presence of MPs in marine environments.