Research Progress of Microplastics in Freshwater Sediments in China.
Zhang Bin,Chen Liang,Chao Jinyu,Yang Xin,Wang Qing
Environmental science and pollution research international
Microplastic pollution has attracted more and more people's attention, and it exists widely in our living environment. Microplastics are difficult to be degraded, most of them migrate from the land to the water, and finally deposit in the sediment. They are easy to have a great impact on water bodies and aquatic organisms, and even affect the daily life of human beings. Based on the research literature on microplastics in recent years, this paper reviews the research progress of microplastics in freshwater sediments in China, discusses several commonly used methods of sampling, separation, and detection of microplastics in freshwater sediments, summarizes the distribution characteristics of microplastics in freshwater sediments in China, analyzes the toxicological effects of microplastics, and introduces the degradation methods of microplastics. This study will provide valuable reference for further study of microplastics in freshwater environment in the future.
An examination of the occurrence and potential risks of microplastics across various shellfish.
Ding Jinfeng,Li Jingxi,Sun Chengjun,Jiang Fenghua,He Changfei,Zhang Min,Ju Peng,Ding Neal Xiangyu
The Science of the total environment
The ingestion of microplastics by shellfish pose a potential health risk for human via seafood consumption. This study investigated and compared the contamination levels and potential human health risks of microplastics in the digestive system of commercial shellfish from North (Qingdao) and South (Xiamen) China. Microplastics were detected in 70%-100% of shellfish samples from Qingdao and 70%-90% of shellfish samples from Xiamen, with abundances ranging from 1.2 to 4.1 items/individual (or 0.8-4.4 items/g, wet weight of digestive system) in shellfish from Qingdao and 1.3-6.0 items/individual (or 2.1-4.0 items/g) in shellfish from Xiamen. The microplastic composition was dominated by rayon and tended to be fibrous in shape, and white, black, and transparent in color. Microplastics <500 μm were the dominant size range, in which the size range of 100-200 μm was the most abundant size. Features of microplastics in the water-dwelling shellfish were different from those of the sediment-dwelling shellfish, and the microplastic features in the shellfish correlated with the sampling region, shellfish length, total wet body weight, and wet weight of the digestive system. Risk assessment results revealed that the potential human health risk posed by microplastics from the digestive system of commercial shellfish was higher in Qingdao than Xiamen.
Microplastics and accumulated heavy metals in restored mangrove wetland surface sediments at Jinjiang Estuary (Fujian, China).
Deng Jun,Guo Peiyong,Zhang Xiaoyan,Su Haitao,Zhang Yuxuan,Wu Yanmei,Li Yanqi
Marine pollution bulletin
Microplastics have received widespread attention as an emerging contaminant, but limited information was available during wetland restoration. The occurrence and characteristics of microplastics and their interaction with heavy metals in surface sediments from the Jinjiang Estuarine restored mangrove wetland were investigated. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 490 ± 127.3 to 1170 ± 99.0 items/500 g dry sediment, and the restored regions were much higher than mudflats, indicating mangrove restoration promoted its accumulation. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) were the main materials of microplastics after Raman spectroscopy identification. SEM-EDS images illustrated the mechanical erosion and chemical weathering on microplastics' surface, and Cr, Zn, Pb, and Cd were observed in elemental composition. The contents of Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, As, and Cd accumulated in microplastics were not correlated with their total concentrations in sediments except for Hg, indicating that they might not be derived from sediments.
Potential risks of microplastics combined with superbugs: Enrichment of antibiotic resistant bacteria on the surface of microplastics in mariculture system.
Zhang Yuxuan,Lu Jian,Wu Jun,Wang Jianhua,Luo Yongming
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
Microplastics have become emerging pollutants and served as potential vectors for harmful bacteria, while rare information on the emergency and propagation of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) on the surface of microplastics is available. This study investigated the enrichment of ARB, especially multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria (MARB), on the surface of microplastics in mariculture system. Polyethylene terephthalate accounted for the highest proportion (75%) in the collected microplastics. The counts of cultivable ARB in microplastic samples were 6.40 × 10-2.48 × 10 cfu/g, which were 100-5000 times higher than those in water samples. The ratios of cultivable ARB to total cultivable bacteria from microplastic samples were higher than those from water samples. High-throughput sequencing showed that the diversity and abundance of cultivable ARB in the microplastic samples was high with the predominant bacterial genera of Vibrio, Muricauda and Ruegeria. Total 160 MARB isolates were obtained and most of isolates were obtained from the microplastic samples. MARB isolates resisting or intermediating to four and three antibiotics accounted for much higher proportions in the microplastic samples, and the higher percentage of antibiotic resistance was to penicillin, sulfafurazole, erythromycin and tetracycline. The dominant multiple antibiotic resistance profile was TET-SFX-ERY-PEN, which accounted for 25.4% in microplastic samples and 23.9% in water samples. In typical MARB isolates, the positive detection rate of ARGs was up to 80.0% in microplastic samples while that was 65.3% in water samples. Five types of class 1 integrons (intI1) associated gene cassette arrays and seven types of gene cassettes were detected in microplastic samples, which were more than those in water samples. These results revealed that microplastics were hazardous pollutants for the enrichment of ARB, especially superbugs, and the spread of antibiotic resistance.
Microplastics in aquatic environments: Occurrence, accumulation, and biological effects.
Xu Shen,Ma Jie,Ji Rong,Pan Ke,Miao Ai-Jun
The Science of the total environment
Microplastics, whether originating directly from industrial and household products or from the degradation of larger plastics, are currently of intense global concern. These particles are present in aquatic environments in high concentrations and may adversely affect aquatic organisms. An additional concern is the ability of microplastics to adsorb inorganic and organic pollutants and subsequently liberate them into marine and freshwater systems. In this review, we report on the occurrence and abundance of microplastics in the global aquatic environment. We then consider the accumulation (uptake, distribution, and elimination) of microplastics in aquatic organisms and the important factors that lead to bioaccumulation. The effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms of different trophic levels are also discussed. Several studies have shown that the size, shape, and surface physicochemical characteristics of microplastics are essential determinants of their biological effects. Finally, we examine the combined effects of microplastics and other pollutants, including persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals. Our review concludes by suggesting future lines of research based on the remaining knowledge gaps in microplastic research.
Polystyrene microplastics increase uptake, elimination and cytotoxicity of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) in the marine scallop Chlamys farreri.
Xia Bin,Zhang Jing,Zhao Xinguo,Feng Juan,Teng Yao,Chen Bijuan,Sun Xuemei,Zhu Lin,Sun Xiaojie,Qu Keming
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Microplastics are a growing problem in marine environments due to their ubiquitous occurrence and affinity for chemical pollutants. However, the influence of microplastics on the uptake, depuration and toxicity of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) in marine organisms is unclear. We exposed the marine scallop Chlamys farreri to polystyrene microplastics (PS; 125 μg/L) combined with BDE-209 (10 and 100 μg/L) to determine their toxicokinetics, cellular toxicity and histopathological effects. The results showed that PS acted as both a carrier and a scavenger for the bioaccumulation of BDE-209. Importantly, the carrier role of PS was greater than scavenger one. PS increased the negative effect of BDE-209 (100 μg/L) on hemocyte phagocytosis, and ultrastructural changes in gills and digestive gland of scallops due to their carrier role for the bioaccumulation of BDE-209. However, PS did not increase the DNA damage of BDE-209 on the hemocytes. These findings are evidence of microplastics transferring adsorbed pollutants to marine organisms, and increasing their toxicity.
Occurrence of microplastics in gastrointestinal tracts and gills of fish from Beibu Gulf, South China Sea.
Koongolla J Bimali,Lin Lang,Pan Yun-Feng,Yang Chang-Ping,Sun Dian-Rong,Liu Shan,Xu Xiang-Rong,Maharana Dusmant,Huang Jian-Sheng,Li Heng-Xiang
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Microplastics are widespread across the global oceans, yet the potential risks of the ubiquitous environmental contaminant to marine organisms has been less known. Accumulation of microplastics and associated contaminants in marine fish, may pose adverse impacts to human health via seafood consumption. This study evaluated microplastic contamination in 24 fish species collected from Beibu Gulf, one of the world's largest fishing grounds in South China Sea. Microplastics were detected in 12 fish species at an abundance of 0.027-1.000 items individual and found in fish stomach, intestines and gills with the count percentage of 57.7%, 34.6% and 7.7%, respectively. Transparent fibers were observed as the predominant microplastics, which might be ingested accidently by fish or transferred through other animals at lower trophic levels. Majority of microplastics were identified as polyester (44%) and nylon (38%), whereas polypropylene (6%), polyethylene (6%), and acrylics (6%) were also found. Relatively, higher microplastic abundances were found in demersal fish compared to the pelagic species. Overall, the abundance of microplastics was documented as relatively low in the commercial fish collected from the open water of Beibu Gulf, South China Sea.
Microplastics impair the feeding performance of a Mediterranean habitat-forming coral.
Savinelli Beatrice,Vega Fernández Tomás,Galasso Nicola Maria,D'Anna Giovanni,Pipitone Carlo,Prada Fiorella,Zenone Arturo,Badalamenti Fabio,Musco Luigi
Marine environmental research
The impact of plastic debris, and in particular of microplastics (here referred as particles smaller than 5 mm) on aquatic environments has now become a topic of raising concern. Microplastics are particularly abundant in the Mediterranean Sea, potentially exerting substantial pressures on marine organisms at different levels of organization. Ingestion of microplastics has been observed in a large number of marine species. The aim of this work is to test if microplastics produce a feeding impairment in Astroides calycularis, a shallow water, habitat-forming coral endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. Our findings suggest a lack of any avoidance mechanism allowing the polyps to discern between food items and microplastics when occurring simultaneously. Moreover, polyps spend a considerable amount of time on handling microplastic particles. As a consequence, microplastics impair the feeding efficiency in A. calycularis, since polyps may not be fully able to profit from the drifting plankton aggregations. Therefore, we suggest that microplastics can cause a reduction of fitness in A. calycularis, and presumably also in other species characterized by suspension feeding strategy.
Effect of microplastics exposure on the photosynthesis system of freshwater algae.
Wu Yanmei,Guo Peiyong,Zhang Xiaoyan,Zhang Yuxuan,Xie Shuting,Deng Jun
Journal of hazardous materials
Microplastics are widely distributed in freshwater environments. At present, most of the studies on the toxicity of microplastics are concentrated on aquatic feeding animals, but relatively few have addressed freshwater algae. This study investigated the effect of microplastics (polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) exposure on the photosynthetic system of freshwater algae over the logarithmic growth period. The results showed that both PVC and PP had a negative effect on chlorophyll a concentrations of Chlorella (C.) pyrenoidosa and Microcystis (M.) flos-aquae; among them, when the concentration of PVC exceeded 250 mg/L, compared with the control group, the chlorophyll a content of C. pyrenoidosa was reduced by 55.23%. For photosynthetic activity, higher concentrations of PVC and PP can induce lower values of F/F, F/F, and F'/F', suggesting a larger impact in algae. However, algae were able to adjust, with increased values of F/F, F/F, and F'/F'. This dose-negative effect phenomenon also exists in the study of the rapid light-response curves. In addition, comparing the two microplastics, we could see that PVC greatly inhibits the photosynthesis system of freshwater algae. Our study confirmed that microplastics can affect algae growth under certain concentrations, which provides evidence for understanding the risks of microplastics.
Heavy metals contamination of sedimentary microplastics in Hong Kong.
Li Wenjie,Lo Hoi-Shing,Wong Ho-Man,Zhou Man,Wong Chun-Yuen,Tam Nora Fung-Yee,Cheung Siu-Gin
Marine pollution bulletin
This is the first study of heavy metals (As, Zn, Cd, Ni, Fe, Mn, Cu) contamination of microplastics on sandy beaches in Hong Kong. Three study sites are located in the eastern waters (Pak Lap Wan, Stanley Bay, Tung Lung Chau) and the other three in the western waters (Tai Pai Tsui, Ha Pak Nai, Shui Hau Wan). The three most abundant types of microplastics were polyethylene (42.2%), polypropylene (23.3%) and polystyrene (19.5%). The median concentration of Fe (302 mg kg) was the highest and followed by Zn (19.6 mg kg) and Mn (18.6 mg kg). Very low concentrations of Cu (0.89 mg kg), Ni (0.15 mg kg), As (<LOD) and Cd (<LOD) were measured. The western sites have significantly higher concentrations of Ni, Fe, Mn and Cu than the eastern sites, indicating that Pearl River was likely to be a major source of heavy metals on microplastics. In view of a continual increase in the abundance of microplastics in the marine environment and its potential impacts on marine organisms, immediate actions should be taken in establishing long term monitoring programs for heavy metals associated with microplastics. In-depth research on the mechanisms of adsorption and desorption processes between metals and microplastics will help assess the associated risks to both human health and the environment.
Comparison of the abundance of microplastics between rural and urban areas: A case study from East Dongting Lake.
Yin Lingshi,Wen Xiaofeng,Du Chunyan,Jiang Jin,Wu Lixue,Zhang You,Hu Zhihui,Hu Shuping,Feng Zhiqiao,Zhou Zhenyu,Long Yuannan,Gu Qi
There is a lack of research on microplastic pollution in freshwater areas. In this study, microplastic pollution in lakeshore sediments of East Dongting Lake was investigated. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 180 to 693 items/kg in the lakeshore sediment, which was moderate compared with other areas of the world. Fibers, transparent and small sized microplastics accounted for the largest proportion in terms of shape, color and size, respectively. Eight types of microplastics with different polymer compositions were identified by micro-Raman spectroscopy. The study found that the abundance of microplastics in the urban area sediment of Dongting Lake is lower than that of the rural area. The difference in environmental protection measures between urban and rural areas may be the cause of this phenomenon. The results of this study is helpful for understanding the role of human activities in microplastic pollution and provide valuable references for future research.
Development of AOP relevant to microplastics based on toxicity mechanisms of chemical additives using ToxCast™ and deep learning models combined approach.
Jeong Jaeseong,Choi Jinhee
Various additives are used in plastic products to improve the properties and the durability of the plastics. Their possible elution from the plastics when plastics are fragmented into micro- and nano-size in the environment is suspected to one of the major contributors to environmental and human toxicity of microplastics. In this context, to better understand the hazardous effect of microplastics, the toxicity of chemical additives was investigated. Fifty most common chemicals presented in plastics were selected as target additives. Their toxicity was systematically identified using apical and molecular toxicity databases, such as ChemIDplus and ToxCast™. Among the vast ToxCast assays, those having intended gene targets were selected for identification of the mechanism of toxicity of plastic additives. Deep learning artificial neural network models were further developed based on the ToxCast assays for the chemicals not tested in the ToxCast program. Using both the ToxCast database and deep learning models, active chemicals on each ToxCast assays were identified. Through correlation analysis between molecular targets from ToxCast and mammalian toxicity results from ChemIDplus, we identified the fifteen most relevant mechanisms of toxicity for the understanding mechanism of toxicity of plastic additives. They are neurotoxicity, inflammation, lipid metabolism, and cancer pathways. Based on these, along with, previously conducted systemic review on the mechanism of toxicity of microplastics, here we have proposed potential adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) relevant to microplastics pollution. This study also suggests in vivo and in vitro toxicity database and deep learning model combined approach is appropriate to provide insight into the toxicity mechanism of the broad range of environmental chemicals, such as plastic additives.
Microplastics but not natural particles induce multigenerational effects in Daphnia magna.
Schür Christoph,Zipp Sebastian,Thalau Tobias,Wagner Martin
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Several studies have investigated the effects of nano- and microplastics on daphnids as key freshwater species. However, while information is abundant on the acute toxicity of plastic beads, little is known regarding the multigenerational effects of irregular microplastics. In addition, a comparison of microplastics to naturally occurring particles is missing. Therefore, we investigated the effects of irregular, secondary polystyrene microplastics (<63 μm) and kaolin as natural reference particle on the survival, reproduction, and growth of Daphnia magna over four generations under food-limited conditions. Additionally, we tested the sensitivity of the neonates in each generation to a reference compound as a proxy for offspring fitness. Exposure to high concentrations of microplastics (10,000 and 2000 particles mL) reduced daphnid survival, resulting in extinction within one and four generations, respectively. Microplastics also affected reproduction and growth. Importantly, an exposure to kaolin at similar concentrations did not induce negative effects. The sensitivity of neonates to potassium dichromate was not affected by maternal exposure to particles. Taken together, our study demonstrates that irregular PS particles are more toxic than natural kaolin in daphnids exposed over multiple generations under food limitation. Thus, our work builds towards more realistic exposure scenarios needed to better understand the impacts of microplastics on zooplankton.
Microplastics affect sedimentary microbial communities and nitrogen cycling.
Seeley Meredith E,Song Bongkeun,Passie Renia,Hale Robert C
Microplastics are ubiquitous in estuarine, coastal, and deep sea sediments. The impacts of microplastics on sedimentary microbial ecosystems and biogeochemical carbon and nitrogen cycles, however, have not been well reported. To evaluate if microplastics influence the composition and function of sedimentary microbial communities, we conducted a microcosm experiment using salt marsh sediment amended with polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane foam (PUF) or polylactic acid (PLA) microplastics. We report that the presence of microplastics alters sediment microbial community composition and nitrogen cycling processes. Compared to control sediments without microplastic, PUF- and PLA-amended sediments promote nitrification and denitrification, while PVC amendment inhibits both processes. These results indicate that nitrogen cycling processes in sediments can be significantly affected by different microplastics, which may serve as organic carbon substrates for microbial communities. Considering this evidence and increasing microplastic pollution, the impact of plastics on global ecosystems and biogeochemical cycling merits critical investigation.
Occurrence and identification of microplastics in tap water from China.
Tong Huiyan,Jiang Qianyi,Hu Xingshuai,Zhong Xiaocong
Microplastics as new emerging pollutants in aquatic environments have received much attention in recent years. However, up to now, microplastic contamination in tap water has only been investigated by few studies. Therefore, this study investigated the presence of microplastics in tap water. 38 tap water samples were taken at different cities of China. The amount of microplastics in tap water varied from 440 ± 275 particles L. Particles smaller than 50 μm significantly predominated in most of the tap water samples. Further, according to the shape of these particles, fragments, fibers and spheres were found in tap water samples, while fragments were the most abundant morphotype in most samples. Despite these particles were identified as 14 different materials by micro-Raman spectroscopy, the majority of the microplastics comprised of polyethylene and polypropylene. Based on this investigation, drinking water treatment plants seemingly have to face the problem of microplastic pollution in tap water due to their potential eco-toxicological effects on humans.
Distribution characteristics of microplastics in Zhubi Reef from South China Sea.
Huang Youjia,Yan Muting,Xu Kaihang,Nie Huayue,Gong Han,Wang Jun
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
As a new type of emerging pollutant in the ocean, microplastics have received global attention in recent years. Considering the increasing amount of human activities around the South China Sea, it is important to determine the current status of microplastic pollution in this region. In this study, we analyzed the abundance and distribution of microplastics at Zhubi Reef in the South China Sea. Microplastic abundance ranged from 1400 to 8100 items/m of surface water, which was much higher than the values reported from other ocean areas. About 80% of the microplastics were smaller than 0.5 mm in size. Fibers and pellets comprised the most common microplastic types. The dominant microplastics were transparent or blue in color. The main polymer types were polypropylene (25%) and polyamide (18%). In general, our results revealed Zhubi Reef was contaminated with microplastics, which were likely derived from the intensive fisheries in the area and emissions from coastal cities. This study also provides baseline data that are useful for additional studies of microplastics in the South China Sea.
Microplastic pollution in surface water from east coastal areas of Guangdong, South China and preliminary study on microplastics biomonitoring using two marine fish.
Zhang Chaonan,Wang Shaodan,Sun Di,Pan Zhenkun,Zhou Aiguo,Xie Shaolin,Wang Jun,Zou Jixing
Microplastic pollution, one of the major global challenges, is a severe threaten to aquatic organisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the abundance, distribution and characteristics of microplastics in coastal surface waters from eastern Guangdong, south China. We chose pelagic Konosirus punctatus and demersal Mugil cephalus from different sampling sites as candidate monitoring species for the ingestion of marine microplastics, and talked about the relationship between water samples and fish samples. We tried to find out the regulation about microplastics characteristics in fish samples and fish own traits. The mean abundance of microplastics in surface water was 8895 items/m, small white fragments were dominating character. We need to increase the amount of fish data to further explore. This study would not only provide a detailed reference for a better understanding of microplastic pollution in Guangdong coastal areas, but also shed an insight in prospect of using fish as biomonitoring of microplastic wastes.
Marine Microbial Assemblages on Microplastics: Diversity, Adaptation, and Role in Degradation.
Oberbeckmann Sonja,Labrenz Matthias
Annual review of marine science
We have known for more than 45 years that microplastics in the ocean are carriers of microbially dominated assemblages. However, only recently has the role of microbial interactions with microplastics in marine ecosystems been investigated in detail. Research in this field has focused on three main areas: () the establishment of plastic-specific biofilms (the so-called plastisphere); () enrichment of pathogenic bacteria, particularly members of the genus , coupled to a vector function of microplastics; and () the microbial degradation of microplastics in the marine environment. Nevertheless, the relationships between marine microorganisms and microplastics remain unclear. In this review, we deduce from the current literature, new comparative analyses, and considerations of microbial adaptation concerning plastic degradation that interactions between microorganisms and microplastic particles should have rather limited effects on the ocean ecosystems. The majority of microorganisms growing on microplastics seem to belong to opportunistic colonists that do not distinguish between natural and artificial surfaces. Thus, microplastics do not pose a higher risk than natural particles to higher life forms by potentially harboring pathogenic bacteria. On the other hand, microplastics in the ocean represent recalcitrant substances for microorganisms that are insufficient to support prokaryotic metabolism and will probably not be microbially degraded in any period of time relevant to human society. Because we cannot remove microplastics from the ocean, proactive action regarding research on plastic alternatives and strategies to prevent plastic entering the environment should be taken promptly.
Seagrass beds acting as a trap of microplastics - Emerging hotspot in the coastal region?
Huang Yuzhou,Xiao Xi,Xu Caicai,Perianen Yuvna Devi,Hu Jing,Holmer Marianne
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Microplastics is an emerging environmental problem in the world. However, presence and fate of microplastics in seagrass meadows are barely known. In this study, the abundance and diversity of microplastic from Enhalus acodoides vegetated sites and bare sites were quantified and characterized in Xincun bay and Li'an bay, Hainan, China. Microplastics ranged from 80.0 to 884.5 particles per kg of dry sediment, and fibers were the dominant shape. The most frequent colors of microplastics were blue, transparent and black. The dominant size of microplastics was in the range of 125-250 μm. And the seagrass sediments were enriched in microplastics 2.1 and 2.9 times for Xincun bay and Li'an bay, respectively. The trap effect of seagrass was non-selective regarding the shape, color and size of microplastics. High anthropogenic pollution and poor beach management may contribute to higher concentrations of microplastics in Li'an bay.
Spatial and seasonal distribution of microplastics on sandy beaches along the coast of the Hengchun Peninsula, Taiwan.
Chen Mei-Chi,Chen Te-Hao
Marine pollution bulletin
Here we present the first report on microplastic pollution on the beaches along the coast of the Hengchun Peninsula, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Taiwan. By using a standard operating procedure, sand samples were collected from eight beaches in June and November in 2017, and the microplastics in the sand samples were quantified and characterized in the laboratory. The average density of microplastics ranged from 80 to 480 particles/kg dry weight sand. There was no apparent seasonal difference but there were significant spatial differences among sampling sites. No significant difference in microplastic levels was observed among the west, south, and east coasts, but microplastic density was higher on beaches with higher tourism activity levels. The most abundant type of microplastics was fiber (>97%) and the most common color was white/transparent (57%). In addition, using a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer we identified microplastics as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Our results show that microplastics are ubiquitous along the coast of the Hengchun Peninsula, and the major factor associated with the abundance of microplastics is tourism activity.
Accumulation of microplastics in typical commercial aquatic species: A case study at a productive aquaculture site in China.
Wu Fangzhu,Wang Youji,Leung Jonathan Y S,Huang Wei,Zeng Jiangning,Tang Yanbin,Chen Jianfang,Shi Aiqin,Yu Xiang,Xu Xiaoqun,Zhang Huaguo,Cao Liang
The Science of the total environment
The widespread occurrence of microplastics in the marine environment has drawn global attention because microplastics may impact the populations of marine organisms. As such, aquaculture industry may suffer from microplastic pollution, especially when plastic products are widely used for aquaculture. Here, we assessed the abundance and characteristics (type, size and composition) of microplastics in sediment and typical commercial species (fish, bivalves and shrimps) in an aquaculture site at Xiangshan Bay, which has been operated intensively for decades. Satellite remote sensing images revealed that aquaculture activities were associated with microplastic pollution in sediment, where the microplastics (51-88 items/kg dry weight) were mostly fibres (>94%) and between 500 and 2000 µm. Cellulose was the predominant polymer (60-88% of microplastic composition), followed by polypropylene. Microplastics accumulated in all the commercial species (0.95-2.1 items per individual), where shrimp (Parapenaeopsis hardwickii) had lower potential for microplastic accumulation than the other species. The predominance of fibres and cellulose in the commercial species implies their limited ability to recognize the type and composition of microplastics during ingestion. Given the limited accumulation of microplastics in these typical commercial species even at a productive aquaculture site, we suggest that microplastics may not increase the health risk of consuming seafood and their impacts on commercial species may be less deleterious than previously thought.