Analysis of Micro(nano) plastics in the environment

This special issue’s focus on micro-plastics in the environment supports multiple SDGs. As a result of global plastic production and consumption practices, micro- and nanoplastics are emerging pollutants in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Research continues to identify microplastic’s detrimental impacts on biota, ecosystem services and human health.

SDG 9, target 5 encourages enhanced scientific research and technological capabilities across all countries. This special issue seeks to explore current microplastic research and enhance scientific methodologies and analytical techniques surrounding micro- and nanoplastic in the environment. Strengthening of microplastic research will significantly support many of the SDGs, including SDGs 3 (good health and well-being), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land).

Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 111, February 2019
Interest about interactions between microplastics and organisms is on the rise. Accessing organisms’ responses to these chemically “inert” compounds plays an important role in determining their potential toxicity. Microplastics from the environment tend to accumulate and move through living organisms, inducing a variety of biological effects, such as disturbances in energy metabolism, oxidative balance, antioxidative capacity, DNA, immunological, neurological and histological damage.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 112, March 2019
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
Plastics are a frequently observed component of marine debris and there is growing concern about microplastic (MP) ecotoxicity, and the impacts of additives, sorbed hazardous organic contaminants, heavy metals, and biofilm on MP surfaces. The relative importance of MP from different terrestrial and freshwater sources is poorly understood and limits our ability to develop best management practices. This review focuses on evidence and methods for source apportionment of MP in freshwater environments including the use of MP characteristics, mass balance techniques, and surface characteristics.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 113, April 2019
Tire materials are a significant proportion of the (micro)plastics in the environment that until today have been clearly overlooked. These materials are released into the environment, either unintentionally as an abrasion product from tire wear, that reaches the environment via road runoff, or intentionally as, for example, shredded “tire crumble rubber” used as filling material for playgrounds.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 110, January 2019
The current paper critically reviews the state-of-the-science on (1) microplastics (MP) types and particle concentrations in freshwater ecosystems, (2) MP and nanoplastics (NP) uptake and tissue translocation, (3) MP/NP-induced effects in freshwater organisms, and (4) capabilities of MP/NP to modulate the toxicity of environmental chemicals. The reviewed literature as well as new data on MP and NP concentrations in the river Elbe and on particle uptake into human cells indicate an environmental relevance of small particles in the low nano- and micrometer range higher than that of larger MP.
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 110, January 2019
Microplastics are widespread contaminants, virtually present in all environmental compartments. However, knowledge on sources, fate and environmental concentration over time and space still is limited due to the laborious and varied analytical procedures currently used. In this work we critically review the methods currently used for sampling and detection of microplastics, identifying flaws in study design and suggesting promising alternatives.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 113, April 2019
Microplastic (MP) studies in freshwater environments are gaining attention due to the huge quantities of plastic particles reported from lakes and rivers and the potential for negative impacts in these environments. Different units have been used to report MP densities, which makes it difficult to compare data and can result in reports of extremely high concentrations that do not reflect the original sample size. We recommended that the density of MPs from bulk samples be reported as number L −1 , while density from net samples should be reported as number m −3 .
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 110, January 2019
This review provides insight into the abundance, origin, distribution and composition of MPs in the sea surface and water column of the Mediterranean Sea. Literature data on MP particles on the sea surface showed an evident heterogeneous distribution and composition, with marked geographical differences between Mediterranean sub-basins. A standardized protocol for water sampling, extraction and detection of plastic debris is strongly recommended.

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