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    Low-cost silica based ceramic supported thin film composite hollow fiber membrane from guinea corn husk ash for efficient removal of microplastic from aqueous solution. Yogarathinam Lukka Thuyavan,Usman Jamilu,Othman Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan,Ismail Ahmad Fauzi,Goh Pei Sean,Gangasalam Arthanareeswaran,Adam Mohd Ridhwan Journal of hazardous materials In this study, an economic silica based ceramic hollow fiber (HF) microporous membrane was fabricated from guinea cornhusk ash (GCHA). A silica interlayer was coated to form a defect free silica membrane which serves as a support for the formation of thin film composite (TFC) ceramic hollow fiber (HF) membrane for the removal of microplastics (MPs) from aqueous solutions. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polyvinyl-chloride (PVC), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) are the selected MPs The effects of amine monomer concentration (0.5 wt% and 1 wt%) on the formation of poly (piperazine-amide) layer via interfacial polymerization over the GCHA ceramic support were also investigated. The morphology analysis of TFC GCHA HF membranes revealed the formation of a poly (piperazine-amide) layer with narrow pore arrangement. The pore size of TFC GCHA membrane declined with the formation of poly (piperazine-amide) layer, as evidenced from porosimetry analysis. The increase of amine concentration reduced the porosity and water flux of TFC GCHA HF membranes. During MPs filtration, 1 wt% (piperazine) based TFC GCHA membrane showed a lower transmission percentage of PVP (2.7%) and other suspended MPs also displayed lower transmission. The impact of humic acid and sodium alginate on MPs filtration and seawater pretreatment were also analyzed. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127298
    National-scale distribution of micro(meso)plastics in farmland soils across China: Implications for environmental impacts. Hu Jiani,He Defu,Zhang Xiaoting,Li Xinyu,Chen Yingxin,Wei Gao,Zhang Yalin,Ok Yong Sik,Luo Yongming Journal of hazardous materials Microplastics (MPs) pollution is increasingly appreciated as a significant environmental issue, however, the large-scale pattern of MPs in farmland soils and its associated environmental impacts are unknown. This study investigated a national-scale distribution of micro(meso)plastics (MMPs) in the soil of 30 farmlands across China. The abundance of MMPs in soils was 25.56-2067.78 items kg, with a mean of 358.37 items kg, i.e. 6.79 mg kg or 0.0007% after mass conversion. MPs accounted for 93.1% of MMPs, the abundance varied greatly among different regions, high in arid or semi-arid north but relatively low in mild southwest regions. Major MPs included polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester, tending to decrease in abundance from surface to deeper soil layers. Further, meta-analysis revealed that MPs exposure influenced bulk density, soil enzymes including fluorescein diacetate hydrolase (FDAse) and urease, and crop biomass, and minimum effective concentrations (MEC) were in the range of 0.0040-10%. We found that actual abundance in the national-scale soils was lower than MEC, but partly overlapped or close, which implies various degrees of environmental impacts. These findings disclose the national-scale pollution pattern of MPs in farmlands and its latent risks to soil environments and crop growth. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127283
    Environmental microplastic and nanoplastic: Exposure routes and effects on coagulation and the cardiovascular system. Lett Zachary,Hall Abigail,Skidmore Shelby,Alves Nathan J Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Plastic pollution has been a growing concern in recent decades due to the proliferation and ease of manufacturing of single use plastic products and inadequate waste and recycling management. Microplastic, and even smaller nanoplastic, particles are persistent pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial systems and are the subject of active and urgent research. This review will explore the current research on how exposure to plastic particles occurs and the risks associated from different exposure routes: ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposure. The effects of microplastics on the cardiovascular system are of particular importance due to its sensitivity and ability to transport particles to other organ systems. The effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on the heart, platelet aggregation, and thrombus formation will all be explored with focus on how the particle characteristics modulate their effect. Plastic particle interactions are highly dependent on both their size and their surface chemistry and interesting research is being done with the interaction of particle characteristics and effect on thrombosis and the cardiovascular system. There is significant uncertainty surrounding some of the findings in this field as research in this area is still maturing. There are undoubtedly more physiological consequences than we are currently aware of resulting from environmental plastic exposure and more studies need to be conducted to reveal the full extent of pathologies caused by the various routes of microplastic exposure, with particular emphasis on longitudinal exposure effects. Further research will allow us to recognize the full extent of physiological impact and begin developing viable solutions to reduce plastic pollution and potentially design interventions to mitigate in-vivo plastic effects following significant or prolonged exposure. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118190
    The current state of microplastic pollution in the world's largest gulf and its future directions. Shruti V C,Pérez-Guevara Fermín,Kutralam-Muniasamy Gurusamy Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Microplastics can have several negative consequences on a variety of organisms, and their prevalence in marine ecosystems has become a major concern. Researchers have recently focused their attention on the world's largest gulf, the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), to determine and assess the impact of microplastic pollution on various environmental compartments (i.e., water, sediment, and biota). This paper critically reviews the analytical methodologies as well as summarizes the distribution, accumulation, sources, and composition of microplastics in a handful of studies (n = 14) conducted in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) covering countries like the USA (n = 10) and Mexico (n = 4). Current quality control measures with respect to sampling and microplastic extraction are summarized. Of 14 studies reviewed, 47% primarily focused on examining sediments for microplastics, with biota and water comprising 35% and 18%, respectively. The abundance ranged from 31.7 to 1392 items m and 60-1940 items kg in sediment, 12-381 particles L in water, and 1.31-4.7 particles per fish in biota. Irregular shaped fragments were the most abundant, followed by fiber, film, foam, hard, and beads etc. Different polymer types of microplastics have been found, including polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyamide, nylon, and rayon etc. According to published research, 46 out of 100 fish thriving in this region are susceptible to microplastic ingestion. Although microplastic concentration in the GoM is among the highest found worldwide, the determination of microplastic contamination is still a growing field of research and methodological discrepancies largely limit the realization of establishing a baseline information on the microplastic abundance of the GoM. In this respect, considerable efforts must be dedicated towards evaluating their distribution and exposure levels; thereby, major challenges and future research directions are briefly discussed. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118142
    Occurrence, abundance and characteristics of microplastics in some commercial fish of northern coasts of the Persian Gulf. Hosseinpour Ali,Chamani Atefeh,Mirzaei Rouhollah,Mohebbi-Nozar Seyedeh Laili Marine pollution bulletin This study assessed the abundance of microplastics (MPs) in muscle, liver, gill, and gastrointestinal tissues of 14 fish species from the Persian Gulf. The quality control showed no significant difference in MPs abundance between blank samples and muscle and liver tissues. The mean abundance of MPs accumulated in gill and gut was 2.85 ± 1.57 and 2.46 ± 1.46 pa/individual, respectively. The maximum mean abundance of MPs was observed in the gill (5.71 pa/ind) of the fish Thunnus tonggol and gut tissue (5.67 pa/ind) of the fish Sphyraena putnamiae. Fiber, black color and size of 23-75 μm were the predominant form of MPs. There was a significant positive correlation between the total fish length and the abundance of MPs. MPs were more abundant in pelagic fish (5.79 ± 5.98) than demersal fish species (3.89 ± 3.53). The level of fish contamination with MPs was low to moderate in comparison to the ranges reported in the literature. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112693
    Polystyrene microplastics increase estrogenic effects of 17α-ethynylestradiol on male marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma). Wang Jun,Li Xuan,Gao Ming,Li Xuefu,Zhao Lingchao,Ru Shaoguo Chemosphere Microplastics (MPs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals are ubiquitous pollutants in marine environments, but their combined ecological risk is unclear. This study exposed male marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) to 10 ng/L 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE) alone or EE plus 2, 20, and 200 μg/L polystyrene MPs for 28 days to investigate the impacts of MPs on the reproductive disruption of EE. The results showed that 10 ng/L EE alone did not affect biometric parameters, while co-exposure to EE and 20, 200 μg/L MPs suppressed the growth and decreased gonadosomatic and hepatosomatic indices. Compared to EE alone, EE plus MPs exposure significantly increased plasma 17β-estradiol (E) levels in a dose-dependent manner, and co-exposure to EE and 20, 200 μg/L MPs significantly increased the ratios of E/testosterone (T). Moreover, EE plus MPs exposure elevated the transcription levels of estrogen biomarker genes vitellogenin and choriogenin, and estrogen receptor (ERα and ERβ). Morphological analysis also showed that co-exposure to EE and MPs induced more severe damage to the testes and livers, indicating that MPs increased the toxicity of EE. The actual EE concentrations in the solution increased with the exposure concentrations of MPs, suggesting that MPs changed the fate and behavior of EE in the seawater. These findings demonstrate that MPs could increase the estrogenic effects of EE on marine fish, suggesting that the combined health risk of MPs and endocrine disrupting chemicals on marine organisms should be paid great attention. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132312
    Size effects of polystyrene microplastics on the accumulation and toxicity of (semi-)metals in earthworms. Xu Guanghui,Yang Yang,Yu Yong Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Microplastics (MPs) are plastic fragments less than 5 mm, which may have adverse impacts on organisms. In this study, we investigated the impacts and mechanisms of polystyrene MPs (10 μm and 100 μm) and nanoplastics (NPs, 100 nm) with different concentrations (10 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg) in soil on the uptake of metal Cd and semi-metal As in earthworms, Eisenia fetida. MPs facilitated the accumulation of (semi-)metals via damaging the integrity of earthworm intestine, and earthworms accumulated more (semi-)metals in MP treatment groups than NP treatment groups, especially in group of 100 mg/kg of 10 μm MP with concentrations of 1.13 mg/kg and 32.7 mg/kg of Cd and As, respectively. Higher genotoxicity to earthworms was observed for MPs than NPs. Antioxidant enzymes activity and their mRNA gene relative expression levels indicated that MPs with high concentration induced severer damage to earthworms, thus resulting in the increased accumulation of (semi-)metals by earthworms. In addition, proteomic and metabolomic analysis revealed that MPs (100 ppm of 10 μm) disturbed the earthworm immune and metabolic systems, resulting in the highest accumulation of (semi-)metals in earthworms. This study clarifies the influence mechanisms of MPs with different sizes and levels on the accumulation of (semi-)metals by terrestrial invertebrates. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118194
    Microplastics and trace metals in fish species of the Gulf of Mannar (Indian Ocean) and evaluation of human health. Selvam S,Manisha A,Roy Priyadarsi D,Venkatramanan S,Chung S Y,Muthukumar P,Jesuraja K,Elgorban Abdallah M,Ahmed Bilal,Elzain Hussam Eldin Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) The importance of microplastic (MPs) contamination in marine environments is reflected by increasing number of studies in fish species. Some even dedicated to the toxicological effects from the ingestion. Microplastics (MPs) and their trace metal composition were examined in the muscle and intestine of five commercially important fish species (i.e., Sufflamen fraenatus, Heniochus acuminatus, Atropus atropos, Pseudotriacanthus and Leiognathus brevirostris) from Thoothukudi at the Gulf of Mannar coast in south India. The abundance and morphology of MPs (size, shape, and texture) in muscle and intestinal were investigated by micro-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (μ-FT-IR) and atomic force microscope (AFM). ICP-OES was used to investigate the adsorption/leaching of trace metals in microplastics in order to assess health risk for adults and children. Particles of 100-250 μm and white color dominated, and the mean abundances (items/100 g) of total MPs were more in Pseudotriacanthus (muscle: 51.2; intestine: 50.1) compared to Heniochus acuminatus (muscle: 9.6; intestine: 15), Leiognathus brevirostris (muscle: 12; intestine: 13.2) and Atropus atropus (muscle: 15.2; intestine: 44.1). Polyethylene (35.3%), polypropylene (27.2%), polyamide (nylon) (22.2%) and fiber (15.3%) represented the MPs present in muscles, and polyamide (nylon) (30.2%), polyethylene (28.1%), polypropylene (25.9%), and fiber (15.8%) composed the intestine MPs. We estimated possible consumption of 121-456 items of MPs/week by adults and about 19-68 items of MPs/week by children by considering the sizes of safe meals. Zn, Cu, Mn and Cr in these fish species reflected influence of the sewage waste. However, the non-carcinogenic risk evaluated through EDI, THQ, HI, and CR did not suggest any immediate health problem for the consumers. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118089
    Polystyrene microplastics induce hepatotoxicity and disrupt lipid metabolism in the liver organoids. Cheng Wei,Li Xiaolan,Zhou Yue,Yu Hengyi,Xie Yichun,Guo Huaqi,Wang Hui,Li Yan,Feng Yan,Wang Yan The Science of the total environment Microplastic particles (MP) has been detected in the environment widespread. Human beings are inevitably exposed to MP via multiple routines. However, the hazard identifications, as direct evidence of exposure and health risk, have not been fully characterized in human beings. Many studies suggest the liver is a potential target organ, but currently no study regarding the MP on human liver has been reported. In this study, we used a novel in vitro 3D model, the liver organoids (LOs) generated from human pluripotent stem cells, as an alternative model to the human liver, to explore the adverse biological effect of 1 μm polystyrene-MP (PS-MP) microbeads applying a non-static exposure approach. When the LOs were exposed to 0.25, 2.5 and 25 μg/mL PS-MP (the lowest one was relevant to the environmental concentrations, calculated to be 102 ± 7 items/mL). The potential mechanisms of PS-MP induced hepatotoxicity and lipotoxicity, in aspects of cytotoxicity, levels of key molecular markers, ATP production, alteration in lipid metabolism, ROS generation, oxidative stress and inflammation response, were determined. Specifically, it has been firstly observed that PS-MP could increase the expression of hepatic HNF4A and CYP2E1. Based on these findings, the potential adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) relevant to PS-MP were proposed, and the potential risks of PS-MP on liver steatosis, fibrosis and cancer were implicated. The combined application of novel LOs model and AOPs framework provides a new insight into the risk assessment of MP. Further studies are anticipated to validate the hepatotoxic molecular mechanism of PS-MP based on HNF4A or CYP2E1, and to investigate the MP-induced physical damage and its relationship to hepatic adverse effect for human beings. CAPSULE: Microplastics cause hepatotoxicity and disrupt lipid metabolism in the human pluripotent stem cells-derived liver organoids, providing evidence for human implication. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150328
    The distribution and ecological effects of microplastics in an estuarine ecosystem. Hope Julie A,Coco Giovanni,Ladewig Samantha M,Thrush Simon F Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Coastal sediments, where microplastics (MPs) accumulate, support benthic microalgae (BMA) that contribute to ecosystem functions such as primary production, nutrient recycling and sediment biostabilization. The potential interactions between MPs, BMA and associated properties and functions remain poorly understood. To examine these interactions, a survey of 22 intertidal sites was conducted. MP abundance, size and a suite of MP diversity indices (based on color and shape) were determined from surface sediments alongside biochemical and physical properties. MPs were detected at all sites and dominated by polypropylene (34%), polyester (18%) and polyethylene (11%). Fragment and fiber dominance (16-92% and 6-81% respectively) and color-shape category diversity varied significantly by site. Distance-based linear models demonstrated that estuary-wide, mean grain size and mud were the best predictors of MP abundance-diversity matrices, but variance explained was low (9%). Relationships were improved when the data was split into sandy and muddy habitats. In sandy habitats (<8% mud), physical properties of the bed (mean grain size, mud content and distance from the estuary mouth) were still selected as predictors of MP abundance-diversity (14% variance explained); but a number of bivariate relationships were detected with biochemical properties such as BMA associated pigments and organic matter. In muddy habitats (>8% mud), porewater ammonium was lower when fiber abundance and overall MP diversity were higher. The inclusion of porewater ammonium, organic matter content and pheophytins alongside physical properties explained a greater percentage of the variance in MP abundance-diversity for muddy habitats (21%). The results highlight the importance of examining plastic shapes and MP categories in addition to abundance and emphasize that functionally different habitats should be examined separately to increase our understanding of MP-biota-function relationships. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117731
    Effects of microplastics on bivalves: Are experimental settings reflecting conditions in the field? Baroja Estibaliz,Christoforou Eleni,Lindström Jan,Spatharis Sofie Marine pollution bulletin Bivalves are the focus of experimental research as they can filtrate a broad size range of microplastics (MPs) with negative consequences for their physiology. Studies use a range of MP shapes, materials, sizes and concentrations raising the question on whether these reflect environmental observations. We review experimental studies on the effects of MPs on marine bivalves and contrast the MP characteristics used with corresponding data from the environment. Mussels were the most common bivalve across experiments which reflect their high abundance and broad distribution in the field. Although fibres are the dominant shape of MPs in coastal systems, most studies focus on spherules and beads, and MP concentrations are often orders of magnitude higher than environmental levels. For higher relevance of experimental findings we recommend that maximum experimental concentrations of MPs are in the range of 100-1000 particles/L, that there is more focus on microfibers and that concentration is reported in particles/volume. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112696
    Nutritional-status dependent effects of microplastics on activity and expression of alkaline phosphatase and alpha-amylase in Brachionus rotundiformis. Zheng Jia-Lang,Wang Dan,Chen Xiao,Song Hong-Zi,Xiang Li-Ping,Yu Han-Xiu,Peng Li-Bin,Zhu Qing-Ling The Science of the total environment Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (ALPL) and alpha-amylase (AMY) are essential in the immune and digestive systems, respectively. Microplastics (MPs) pose a risk to zooplankton which may be in a state of feeding, starvation, or subsequent refeeding. However, molecular characterization of both enzymes and the regulated mechanisms affected by nutritional statuses and MPs remain unclear in zooplankton. In the present study, four full-length genes encoding ALPL and two genes encoding AMY were cloned and characterized from an isolated marine rotifer, Brachionus rotundiformis, including alplA, alplB, alplC, alplD, amy2a, and amy2al. AMY activity and expression of amy2a and amy2al were reduced by starvation and recovered after refeeding compared with feeding. ALPL activity remained unchanged among different statuses, while alplA, alplB and alplD were down-regulated by starvation and refeeding compared with feeding. ALPL activity was not affected by exposure to 10, 100 and 1000 μg/L MPs in rotifers subjected to feeding, starvation and refeeding, whereas AMY activity was significantly enhanced by 1000 μg/L MPs in rotifers subjected to refeeding. Gene expression of the tested genes, except amy2a, was significantly responsive to MPs, especially in the feeding rotifers, depending on MPs concentrations and nutritional statuses. Two-way ANOVA confirmed that these changes were strongly associated with the interaction between MPs concentrations and nutritional statuses. The present study is the first to demonstrate a nutritional status-dependent impact of MPs on immune and digestive responses, and provides more sensitive molecular biomarkers for assessing MPs toxicity using the species as model animals. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150213
    The occurrence and fate of microplastics in a mesophilic anaerobic digester receiving sewage sludge, grease, and fatty slurries. Chand Rupa,Rasmussen Lasse Abraham,Tumlin Susanne,Vollertsen Jes The Science of the total environment The mesophilic digester of a wastewater treatment plant serving 790,000 inhabitants was analyzed for incoming and outgoing microplastics (MPs). The annual MP load on the digester was 7326 kg y and 1.20 × 10 N y, while the digested sludge contained 4885 kg y and 0.85 × 10 N y. The corresponding mean reduction of approximately 30% was though within the variability of the analyzed samples, and size distributions and polymer composition before and after the digester could similarly neither confirm nor deny if MPs were lost in the digester. The load on the digester corresponded to a per capita load of 0.025 g capita day or 4.14 × 10 N capita day. In terms of MP numbers, the values were high compared to most previous studies, which most likely was due to differences in analytical methods, where the present study applied FPA-μFTIR hyperspectral imaging with automatized MP recognition in the size range 10-500 μm and ATR-FTIR on all particles in the range 500-5000 μm. The polymer composition was quite diverse, with 15 identified polymer types, of which polyethylene and polyester were the most common in the sludge, while the variation in composition was larger in the grease that came from the plant's grease trap and the fatty slurries which came from grease traps in the drainage area. The load on the digester was finally used to demonstrate how especially the determined mass loads can be used to set upper boundaries for specific sources, for example human excretion. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149287
    Fragmentation of microplastics in the drinking water treatment process - A case study in Yangtze River region, China. Wu Junyi,Zhang Yan,Tang Yu The Science of the total environment Microplastics (MPs) are the emerging pollutants in the fresh water and have been found in the drinking water. Drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) is an important barrier to ensure the safety and quality of drinking water, so their effectiveness in removing MPs needs to be evaluated and optimized. In this paper, the abundance, characteristics and removal performance of 5 μm-5 mm granular MPs and 100 μm-5 mm fibrous MPs in the effluent of each water treatment unit in a DWTP in China were analyzed. The results show that only 80.96% of MPs ≤ 20 μm, accounting for more than 98% in the raw water, could be removed in the DWTP, while over 99% of the removal efficiency could be achieved for MPs > 20 μm. Coagulation-sedimentation and micro-flocculation combined with sand filtration couldn't effectively remove the granular MPs ≤ 20 μm (42.8% and 25.8%, respectively), but biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration was prone to remove this part (63.8%). Significant increases of granular MPs ≤ 20 μm were observed in the effluents of biological treatment (+149.6%) and ozonation (+13.8%). According to the variation in separate MPs' size distribution, the increases in MPs were attributed to the fragmentation of MPs, on which ozonation showed a remarkable effect. The ozonation might accelerate the aging and embrittlement of MPs, and then external stresses could further break them into smaller pieces, which eventually lead to an increase in MPs. To deal with the stubborn part and fragmentation of MPs in water, the removal ability of DWTP for MPs ≤ 20 μm needs to be improved. This study provides a detailed proof for the fate of MPs in the DWTP, and the results indicate that the fragmentation of MPs and the removal rate of MPs ≤ 20 μm should draw more attention in the DWTP. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150545
    Microplastics: A review of analytical methods, occurrence and characteristics in food, and potential toxicities to biota. Bai Cui-Lan,Liu Liang-Ying,Hu Yi-Bin,Zeng Eddy Y,Guo Ying The Science of the total environment Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous in various environment compartments, including food. Here, we collected research reports of MPs in food published during 2010-2020, and summarized the analytical methods developed and utilized by researchers (e.g., digestion, separation and identification, as well as related QA/QC measures implemented), the occurrence, and the characteristics of MPs in six kinds of food. The potential effects on biota from exposure to MPs were also reviewed. The results showed that most researchers digested food samples using chemical solutions such as HNO, HO, KOH, or NaOH. FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy were the main technique for identifying MPs, and microscopes were used to count MP particles. The abundances MPs were in the ranges of 0-5860, 2.00-1100, 0-698, 4.00-18.7, 0-5.68 × 10 and 900-3000 particles/kg in beverages, condiments, honey, meat, seafood and vegetables, respectively. The "maximum" annual human intake of MPs from these foods is approximately 1.42 × 10-1.54 × 10 particles/capita, equivalent to the consumption of 50 plastic bags (size: 0.04 mm × 250 mm × 400 mm, density: 0.98 g/cm) each year. Blue-colored and fiber-shaped MP particles were the most commonly observed in food, predominated by PA, PE, PES, PET and PP types. Toxicity studies indicated that MPs, additives of MPs and adsorbents or microorganisms on the surfaces of MPs were all somewhat toxic to cells or biota. Exposure to MPs may induce oxidative stress, inflammation, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity, and change the structure of intestinal microflora in cells or biota. Therefore, we call for more investigation into the residual, excretion and bioavailability of MPs or related absorbents/additives in biota and humans. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150263
    Adsorption mechanism of two pesticides on polyethylene and polypropylene microplastics: DFT calculations and particle size effects. Mo Qiming,Yang Xingjian,Wang Jinjin,Xu Huijuan,Li Wenyan,Fan Qi,Gao Shuang,Yang Wenyi,Gao Chengzhen,Liao Dehua,Li Yongtao,Zhang Yulong Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) microplastics (MPs), as carriers, can bind with pesticides, which propose harmful impacts to aqueous ecosystems. Meanwhile, carbofuran and carbendazim (CBD), two widely used carbamate pesticides, are toxic to humans because of the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity. The interaction between two MPs and two pesticides could start in farmland and be maintained during transportation to the ocean. Herein, the adsorption behavior and mechanism of carbofuran and carbendazim (CBD) by PE and PP MPs were investigated via characterization and density functional theory (DFT) simulation. The adsorption kinetic and thermodynamic data were best described by pseudo-second-order kinetics and the Freundlich models. The adsorption behaviors of individual carbofuran/CBD on both MPs were very similar. The CBD adsorption rate and capacity of PE and PP MPs were higher than those of carbofuran. This phenomenon explained the lower negative effects of DOM (oxalic acid, glycine (Gly)) on CBD adsorption relative to those of carbofuran. The presence of oxalic acid and Gly decreased the PE adsorption by 20.40-48.02% and the PP adsorption by 19.27-42.11%, respectively. It indicated the significance of DOM in carbofuran cycling. The adsorption capacities were negatively correlated with MPs size, indicating the importance of specific surficial area. Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy before and after adsorption suggested that the adsorption process did not produce any new covalent bond. Instead, intermolecular van der Waals forces were one of the primary adsorption mechanisms of carbofuran and CBD by MPs, as evidenced by DFT calculations. Based on the zeta potential, the electrostatic interaction explained the higher adsorption CBD by MPs than carbofuran. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118120
    Lipidomic analysis of single and combined effects of polyethylene microplastics and polychlorinated biphenyls on human hepatoma cells. Menéndez-Pedriza Albert,Jaumot Joaquim,Bedia Carmen Journal of hazardous materials Microplastics are an emerging environmental issue as a result of their ubiquity, persistence, and intrinsic toxic potential. In addition, their ability to sorb and transport a wide variety of environmental pollutants (i.e. "Trojan Horse" effect) exerts significant adverse impacts upon ecosystems. The toxicological evaluation of the single and combined effects produced by polyethylene microplastics and two polychlorinated biphenyl congeners was performed on the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 by cell viability assessment and an untargeted lipidomic study. The cell lethality evaluation evinced that MPs did not induce relevant cell lethality at any of the concentration range tested, while both PCBs presented a hormetic behavior. The lipidomic analysis suggested that both single PCB exposures induced significant lipidomic changes, especially for glycerophospholipids and glycerolipids. In contrast, for MPs single exposure, the most remarkable change was the substantial enhancement of triglyceride content. Regarding combined exposures, results showed that MPs could induce even more harmful effects than those produced intrinsically as a result of desorbing previously sorbed toxic pollutants. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the toxicity of microplastics and their possible "Trojan Horse" effect by applying an untargeted lipidomic methodology. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126777
    Determination of microplastics in the edible green-lipped mussel Perna viridis using an automated mapping technique of Raman microspectroscopy. Leung Matthew Ming-Lok,Ho Yuen-Wa,Maboloc Elizaldy Acebu,Lee Cheng-Hao,Wang Youji,Hu Menghong,Cheung Siu-Gin,Fang James Kar-Hei Journal of hazardous materials Microplastics are prevalent in marine environments and seafood and thus can easily end up in human diets. This has raised serious concerns worldwide, particularly in Hong Kong where the seafood consumption per capita can be three times higher than the global average. This study focused on the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis, a popular seafood species which is subject to a high risk of contamination by microplastics due to its filter-feeding nature. P. viridis was collected from five mariculture sites in Hong Kong and assessed for its body load of microplastics using an automated Raman mapping approach. Microplastics were found in all sites, with an average of 1.60-14.7 particles per mussel per site, or 0.21-1.83 particles per g wet weight. Polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate were detected among the microplastics, mainly as fragments or fibres in the size range of 40-1000 µm. It was estimated that through consumption of P. viridis, the population in Hong Kong could ingest up to 10,380 pieces of microplastics per person per year. These estimated rates were high compared to the values reported worldwide, suggesting the potential human health risk of microplastics in Hong Kong and adjacent areas. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126541
    Biodegradable and re-usable sponge materials made from chitin for efficient removal of microplastics. Sun Cuizhu,Wang Zhenggang,Zheng Hao,Chen Lingyun,Li Fengmin Journal of hazardous materials Microplastics have attracted widespread attention due to their detrimental effects on organisms, and their efficient removal poses great challenges, especially those smaller than 3 µm that are more harmful for aquatic biota. Herein, the chitin based sponges with interconnected pores, excellent elasticity and mechanical durability were fabricated and composed with graphene oxide (GO) and oxygen-doped carbon nitride (O-CN). The chitin based sponges could effectively remove different functionalized microplastics (~1 µm) at pH 6-8, including carboxylate-modified polystyrene (PS-COOH), amine-modified polystyrene (PS-NH), and polystyrene (PS). Notably, the removal efficiency of three microplastics by the chitin based sponges reached up to 71.6-92.1% at an environmentally relevant concentration of 1 mg L in water system. The potential driving forces of the adsorption were electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bond interactions, and π-π interactions. In addition, the chitin based sponges are reusable and after re-used for 3 cycles due to their excellent compressibility. The algae toxicity test demonstrated good biocompatibility of the chitin based sponges and they are also biodegradable in a natural soil. This study provides a green and promising method for fabricating environmentally friendly adsorbents for small-size microplastics removal, and expands the insights into the mechanisms of microplastic adsorption onto the sponge materials. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126599
    Extraction of microplastics from sediment matrices: Experimental comparative analysis. Constant Mel,Billon Gabriel,Breton Noémie,Alary Claire Journal of hazardous materials Microplastics are small (<5 mm) fragments of plastic debris that are ubiquitous in oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. Studies on microplastics in sediment and soil matrices are particularly challenging because of the need to separate the plastics from the sediments. We investigated the efficiencies of 18 combinations of six extracting solutions (ESs) (oil, water, oil-in-water, NaCl, oil-in-NaCl, and NaI) and three isolation methods (IMs) (hand stirring, centrifugation, and aeration) for fine and coarse sediments, with low and high density polymers. IMs did not affect the extraction efficiency. Except in case of oil, all ESs enabled good extraction (84 ± 17%) of light polymers (PE and PE-ABS). NaI presented the best extraction efficiency (71 ± 17%) for the densest polymers (PET, PES, and PA). For these ESs, fibers were extracted at a lower efficiency than pellets and fragments, and sediment gran size did not affect the extraction. For other ESs, mean extraction rates ranged from 5% to 48%. Overall, the extraction efficiencies were lower than those found in the literature, despite repeating the separation process three times. The collection of floating materials remained a problem, as plastics tended to adhere to the glass wall. Our work will help the comparability between previous and future monitoring results and the selection of the most suitable protocols for future studies. This work clearly demonstrates also that there is no robust protocol for extracting all types and forms of microplastics from fine sediments and that research efforts to arrive at a reliable method remain by taking account the interaction of MPs with other particles as well as the electrostatic properties of MP. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126571
    The potential of aerial insectivores for monitoring microplastics in terrestrial environments. Sherlock Cassandra,Fernie Kim J,Munno Keenan,Provencher Jennifer,Rochman Chelsea The Science of the total environment Limited research has been conducted on microplastics in terrestrial ecosystems and biota, despite being some of the most ubiquitous environmental pollutants. We investigated the presence of microplastics (over 125 μm) in tree swallow (Tachicyneta bicolor) chicks (10 d. o.), an aerial insectivore whose diet involves terrestrial and/or freshwater sources. Swallows nested immediately downstream (300 m) of the discharge pipe of a large, urban wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) or at a rural conservation area (40 km apart). Anthropogenic microparticles (including microplastics) were identified in nearly all WWTP chicks (90%; N = 20) and reference chicks (83%; N = 20). All microparticles were fibers (100%) in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tracts of WWTP nestlings, whereas unexpectedly, they were more diverse in the GI tracts of reference chicks, with ~15% characterized as pre-production plastic pellets. The fecal sacs of most nestlings (90%) contained microparticles, and all were characterized as fibers suggesting their excretion by tree swallows. Compared to WWTP chicks, the reference chicks had more microparticles in their fecal sacs and larger particles (length, width) in their GI tracts, likely reflecting the more aquatic-based diet of the reference chicks fed insects caught adjacent to the nearby dam, compared to the more terrestrial-based diet of the WWTP chicks. The numbers of microparticles were not correlated between GI tracts and fecal sacs, nor with the chicks' condition or size (weight, organs, feathers). We recommend sampling macroinvertebrate prey to permit stronger conclusions regarding WWTPs as possible sources of microplastics for swallows, and to determine if such macroinvertebrates may be a non-lethal method to characterize microparticle diversity ingested by birds as presently identified in chicks' GI tracts. We conclude that sampling fecal sacs only, while not indicative of the diversity of microplastics ingested by terrestrial passerines (e.g., tree swallows), is useful for determining their exposure to microparticles. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150453
    What have we known so far about microplastics in drinking water treatment? A timely review. Xue Jinkai,Samaei Seyed Hesam-Aldin,Chen Jianfei,Doucet Ariana,Ng Kelvin Tsun Wai Frontiers of environmental science & engineering Microplastics (MPs) have been widely detected in drinking water sources and tap water, raising the concern of the effectiveness of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in protecting the public from exposure to MPs through drinking water. We collected and analyzed the available research articles up to August 2021 on MPs in drinking water treatment (DWT), including laboratory- and full-scale studies. This article summarizes the major MP compositions (materials, sizes, shapes, and concentrations) in drinking water sources, and critically reviews the removal efficiency and impacts of MPs in various drinking water treatment processes. The discussed drinking water treatment processes include coagulation-flocculation (CF), membrane filtration, sand filtration, and granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. Current DWT processes that are purposed for particle removal are generally effective in reducing MPs in water. Various influential factors to MP removal are discussed, such as coagulant type and dose, MP material, shape and size, and water quality. It is anticipated that better MP removal can be achieved by optimizing the treatment conditions. Moreover, the article framed the major challenges and future research directions on MPs and nanoplastics (NPs) in DWT. 10.1007/s11783-021-1492-5
    A Critical Review on the Impacts of Nanoplastics and Microplastics on Aquatic and Terrestrial Photosynthetic Organisms. Larue Camille,Sarret Géraldine,Castillo-Michel Hiram,Pradas Del Real Ana Elena Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) Microplastic and nanoplastic contamination is widespread and affects aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Photosynthetic organisms are present in both media, they are primary producers, sink for CO , and they represent a major point of entry in the food chain. Here, the current knowledge on the fate and impacts of microplastics and nanoplastics in interaction with these organisms is reviewed. As a general trend, plastic characteristics (smaller size and positive charge) play a crucial role in their toxicity toward photosynthetic organisms. Plastic leachates (containing additives) also represent a major source of toxicity, and some harmful compounds such as phthalate esters are shown to accumulate in plants and generate a risk for the consumers. Adsorption of plastic particles is evidenced for each type of photosynthetic organism, and uptake and translocation in terrestrial plants is evidenced for nanoplastics, leading to concerns for trophic chain contamination. The available techniques for the detection of microplastics and nanoplastics and their secondary products in biological samples and media are also listed. Finally, the current gaps of knowledge, specific challenges, and future research directions are also discussed. 10.1002/smll.202005834
    Adsorption mechanisms of chlorobenzenes and trifluralin on primary polyethylene microplastics in the aquatic environment. Tubić Aleksandra,Lončarski Maja,Apostolović Tamara,Kragulj Isakovski Marijana,Tričković Jelena,Molnar Jazić Jelena,Agbaba Jasmina Environmental science and pollution research international Microplastics are ubiquitous in aqueous media, and the importance of considering their impact on the behaviour of other compounds in water has often been highlighted. This work thus investigates the adsorption mechanism of six priority substances (as defined by European Union legislation: trichlorobenzenes (1,2,3-TeCB, 1,3,5-TeCB, 1,2,4-TeCB), pentachlorobenzene (PeCB), hexachlorobenzene (HeCB), and trifluralin (TFL)) on primary polyethylene (PE) microplastics (polyethylene standard and polyethylene microparticles isolated from two personal care products) in Danube river water and a synthetic matrix. The maximum adsorbed amounts of the compounds investigated on PEs ranged from 227 μg/g for 1,2,3-TeCB to 333 μg/g for TFL. Equilibrium data was analysed using five isotherm models, with the best fit being described by the Langmuir model and the Dubinin-Radushkevich model indicating chemisorption as the likely sorption mechanism. In general, the Langmuir model showed that the investigated compounds will be better adsorbed on PEs in real river water, with the exception of 1,3,5-TeCB on all studied PEs, where the model predicts better sorption in the synthetic matrix. Compound characteristics and the polymer properties were the most important factors affecting the sorption process, while a significant matrix effect was also observed on PE behaviour. The fact that polyethylene particles derived from personal care products showed greater adsorption capacities than virgin PE demonstrates the necessity of investigating real-world PE samples when assessing the potential impact of MPs in the environment. 10.1007/s11356-020-11875-w
    Comparison of Detection Methods of Microplastics in Landfill Mineralized Refuse and Selection of Degradation Degree Indexes. Zhang Ying,Peng Yawen,Peng Chu,Wang Ping,Lu Yuan,He Xiaosong,Wang Lei Environmental science & technology A landfill is an important sink of plastic waste and potential sources of microplastics (MPs) when mineralized refuse is reused. However, limitations are still present in quantifying MPs in mineralized refuse and assessing their degradation degree. In this study, laser direct infrared spectroscopy and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used to identify MPs of mineralized refuse from a landfill. Although 25-113 items/g MPs were detected in particles subjected to flotation, 37.9-674 μg/g polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and 0.0716-1.01 μg/g polycarbonate (PC) were detected in the residual solids by LC-MS/MS, indicating a great amount of plastic polymers still presented in the residue. This suggests that the commonly used flotation-counting method will lead to significant underestimation of MP pollution in mineralized refuse, which might be due to the aging and aggregation process caused by the long-term landfill process. The ratio of "bisphenol A/PC" and "plasticizer/MPs" was found to be positively correlated and negatively correlated with the landfill age, respectively. Therefore, in addition to the spectral index such as the carbonyl index, new indexes based on the concentrations of polymers, free monomers, and plasticizers were proposed to characterize the degradation degree of MPs in a landfill. 10.1021/acs.est.1c02772
    Distribution and abundance of microplastics in coastal sediments depends on grain size and distance from sources. Marques Mendes A,Golden N,Bermejo R,Morrison L Marine pollution bulletin Microplastic deposition in marine sediments is a geographically widespread problem. This study examines microplastics in intertidal and subtidal sediments at 87 locations in habitats designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) on the coastline of Ireland. Established methodological approaches including, organic matter digestion, density separation, particle extraction and polymer identification were applied. Microplastic abundance was closely related with distance from known sources and concentrations were greater in intertidal as opposed to subtidal sediments. Colourless, polyethylene fibres and polypropylene fragments were the most abundant MP recorded and finer grained sediments were shown to entrap more MPs than coarser sediments. The results demonstrate that an understanding of potential sources of pollution, sediment type and hydrodynamic conditions are very important in terms of MP abundance and distribution in marine sediments and also in terms of effective waste management strategies and policy aimed at reducing the global plastics problem. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112802
    Microplastics from headwaters to tap water: occurrence and removal in a drinking water treatment plant in Barcelona Metropolitan area (Catalonia, NE Spain). Dalmau-Soler Joan,Ballesteros-Cano Rubèn,Boleda Mª Rosa,Paraira Miquel,Ferrer Núria,Lacorte Silvia Environmental science and pollution research international Nowadays, the presence of microplastics in drinking water is of concern worldwide due to potential impacts on human health. This paper has examined the presence of microplastics along the Llobregat river basin (Catalonia, Spain) and studied their behaviour and elimination along the drinking water treatment plant (DWTP). Due to different water composition, different sampling and sample preparation protocols were used to determine microplastics from river water and in the DWTP. Identification of microplastics of size range from 20 μm to 5 mm was performed by fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Microplastics were detected in 5 out of 7 points along the Llobregat basin, with concentrations ranging between non-detected and 3.60 microplastics/L. In the intake of the DWTP, the mean concentration was 0.96 ± 0.46 microplastics/L (n=5), with a predominance of polyester (PES) and polypropylene (PP) and at the outlet the mean concentration was of 0.06 ± 0.04 microplastics/L with an overall removal efficiency of 93 ± 5%. Sand filtration was identified as the key stage in microplastic removal (78 ± 9%). Furthermore, the results showed that ultrafiltration/reverse osmosis (advanced treatment) is more effective for microplastic removal than ozonation/carbon filtration stage (upgraded conventional treatment). In addition, a preliminary migration test of the different materials used in the DWTP has been performed to identify potential sources of microplastics in each treatment step. 10.1007/s11356-021-13220-1
    Marine microplastics in the surface waters of "pristine" Kuroshio. Shiu Ruei-Feng,Gong Gwo-Ching,Fang Meng-Der,Chow Chun-Hoe,Chin Wei-Chun Marine pollution bulletin Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous in oceans. Their transboundary transport and fate have aroused global attention. Taiwan is located close to the western boundary current-Kuroshio, is an excellent location to study of MP mobility in the global current and Pacific Garbage Patch. This study is the first investigation to understand the microplastic contamination from Taiwan to the Kuroshio. MP concentrations in the area varied from N.D. to 0.15 items m, with an average concentration of 0.05 ± 0.03 items m. The majority of MPs were polypropylene, polyethylene, polyethylene and terephthalate. We found two MP hotspots near the coastal zone. One additional hotspot was also identified in the "pristine" Kuroshio suggesting rivers and local currents may play critical roles in transporting or injecting MPs from Taiwan into the North Pacific Gyre. These findings suggest that marine environments are altered by anthropogenic disposal and provide needed data for modelling and prediction of MPs. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112808
    Variation in polymer types and abundance of microplastics from two rivers and beaches in Adelaide, South Australia. Hayes Anna,Kirkbride K Paul,Leterme Sophie C Marine pollution bulletin Microplastics are a major source of marine pollution and comprise of many recyclable polymers. For this study, we investigated the prevalence of microplastic polymers in an urban and non-urban setting and determined what type of plastic polymers was most common in these areas. This was conducted by extracting sediment and sand samples from 2 rivers and beaches in Adelaide, South Australia. The microplastics were extracted using density separation and were identified using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. We found a significantly higher abundance of microplastics and variety of polymers in the sediment of the Patawalonga creek, compared to the less urbanised environment. Most of the microplastics found in the study were from recyclable products which highlight the lack of recycling practices undertaken by the inhabitants of that area. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112842
    Characterization of microplastics in the water and sediment of Baram River estuary, Borneo Island. Choong Wei Sheng,Hadibarata Tony,Yuniarto Adhi,Tang Kuok Ho Daniel,Abdullah Faizuan,Syafrudin Muhammad,Al Farraj Dunia A,Al-Mohaimeed Amal M Marine pollution bulletin The Baram River is one of the largest rivers in Sarawak, where many large industries, such as plywood, sawmills, shipyards, interisland ports, and other wood-based industries are located along the river. Microplastic contamination has become a widespread and growing concern worldwide because of the small sizes of microplastics and their presence in seafood such as fish, squid, scallop, crabs, shrimp, and mussels. In this study, microplastics were found in all sampling stations. Out of the 4017 microplastics found in the water and sediment, microplastics fragment accounted for 67.8% of total microplastics, followed by fiber, film, pellet, and foam. Five microplastic polymer types were detected by ATR-FTIR, including polyethylene (PE), polyester (PET) fibers, silicon polymer, nitrile, and polystyrene (PS). The most common microplastics size range in Baram River was 0.3-1 mm, with blue as the highly abundant color. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112880
    Nile Red staining for detecting microplastics in biota: Preliminary evidence. Nalbone Luca,Panebianco Antonio,Giarratana Filippo,Russell Marie Marine pollution bulletin Nile Red is a lipophilic, metachromatic and solvatochromic dye used as an alternative or complementary method to aid identification of microplastics in routine analysis of biological samples. It was rarely used in biota since organic residues after the digestion step can be co-stained with possible overestimation of microplastics. The limits of using Nile Red in biota were investigated in marine mussels experimentally contaminated with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microplastics. Stained particles were detected through magnified images obtained by stitching together thirty photographs of the filter surface of each sample. LDPE particles appeared yellowish and fluorescent and could be confused with certain organic residues. The smaller the fragments, the greater the difficulty in recognizing them. In particular, it was difficult to recognize LDPE particles based on their fluorescence if <180 μm in size. Regardless of the size, fluorescence of the items aids the operator in LDPE particles identification also in biota. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112888
    Copper Adsorption to Microplastics and Natural Particles in Seawater: A Comparison of Kinetics, Isotherms, and Bioavailability. Chen Ciara Chun,Zhu Xiaoshan,Xu Huo,Chen Fengyuan,Ma Jie,Pan Ke Environmental science & technology The growing use of plastics has led to microplastics (MPs) being ubiquitously distributed in marine environments. Although previous studies have emphasized MPs as important metal-transport vectors, few have considered the differences between these anthropogenic particles and their coexisting natural counterparts in sequestering metals in seawater. Here, we compared Cu adsorption to pristine and naturally aged MPs (polystyrene and polyethylene) with that to algae particles and sediments and assessed the bioavailability of the adsorbed Cu by a gut juice extraction assay. Adsorption kinetics and isotherms consistently showed that natural particles bound far more Cu to their surfaces than MPs. The rougher surfaces, greater specific surface areas, and lower ζ-potentials of natural particles contributed to their stronger Cu adsorption capacity than pristine or aged MPs. Natural particles also contained more diverse functional groups for binding Cu, with oxygen-containing groups playing a dominant role. Adsorbed Cu on natural particles was less extractable by sipunculan gut juice than that on MPs, indicating their higher Cu affinity. Overall, our study suggests that natural particles outcompete MPs in carrying metals in the water column and transferring them to marine organisms in today's environmental context. This work provides new insights for assessing the risks of MPs in marine environments. 10.1021/acs.est.1c04278
    Polystyrene microplastics disturb maternal-fetal immune balance and cause reproductive toxicity in pregnant mice. Hu Jianing,Qin Xiaoli,Zhang Jinwen,Zhu Yueyue,Zeng Weihong,Lin Yi,Liu Xiaorui Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) Microplastics (MPs), which are emerging as a new type of environmental pollutants, have raised great concerns regarding their threats to human health. A successful pregnancy depends on the sophisticated regulation of the maternal-fetal immune balance, but the risks of polystyrene MP (PS-MP) exposure in early pregnancy remain unclear. In this study, we exposed the C57BL/6-mated BALB/c mice to PS-MP particles and used the flow cytometry to explore threats towards the immune system. Herein, the allogeneic mating murine model showed an elevated embryo resorption rate with a 10 μm PS-MP particle exposure during the peri-implantation period. Both the number and diameter of uterine arterioles decreased, which might reduce the uterine blood supply. Moreover, the percentage of decidual natural killer cells was reduced, whereas the helper T cells in the placenta increased. In addition, the M1/M2 ratio in macrophages reversed significantly to a dominant M2-subtype. Lastly, the cytokine secretion shifted towards an immunosuppressive state. Overall, our results demonstrated that PS-MPs have the potential to cause adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes via immune disturbance, providing new insights into the study of reproductive toxicity of MP particles in the human body. 10.1016/j.reprotox.2021.10.002
    Effects of nano- and microplastics on kidney: Physicochemical properties, bioaccumulation, oxidative stress and immunoreaction. Meng Xuemei,Zhang Jiawei,Wang Wenjing,Gonzalez-Gil Graciela,Vrouwenvelder Johannes S,Li Zhenyu Chemosphere The potential toxicity of nanoplastics (NPs) and microplastics (MPs) has raised concerns. However, knowledge of the effects of NPs/MPs on the health of mammals is still limited. Here we investigated the alteration of the physicochemical properties of polystyrene NPs (PS-NPs: 50 nm) and MPs (PS-MPs: 300 nm, 600 nm, 4 μm) in the gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, we investigated the uptake and bioaccumulation and the toxic effects of these plastic particles in the kidneys of mice. The results revealed that their digestion promoted the aggregation of PS-NPs and PS-MPs and increased the Zeta-potential value. Both PS-NPs and PS-MPs bioaccumulated in the kidneys, and the aggregation of 600 nm PS-MPs exacerbated their biotoxicity. The PS-NPs and PS-MPs caused mice weight loss, increased their death rate, significantly alternated several biomarkers, and resulted in histological damage of the kidney. We also found that exposure to PS-NPs and PS-MPs induced oxidative stress and the development of inflammation. These findings provide new insights into the toxic effects of NPs and MPs on mice. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132631
    Simple screening of microplastics in bottled waters and environmental freshwaters using a novel fluorophore. Lee Eun-Hee,Lee Sangwon,Chang Yunsoo,Lee Seung-Woo Chemosphere Screening of polymeric microplastic debris can help to assess the extent to which plastics contaminate the environment. We here developed an easy- and rapid-to-perform method for the screening of plastic polymers, based on a newly employed fluorophore, namely 1-pyrenebutyric acid N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester (PBN). The PBN fluorophore was capable of staining diverse synthetic microplastic polymers within 5 min, including those displaying various particle sizes and shapes. The fluorescence intensities of the microplastics were considerably enhanced after the short-duration staining. The screening method was shown to be highly effective in the detection of polyethylene (PE), poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyamide-6 (PA-6), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), polyvinylidenechloride (PVDC), and polyurethane (PU), with a lowest analyzed particle size of 15 μm. Using our screening method, plastic contamination was investigated in commercially available bottled waters and environmental waters, specifically urban freshwaters. This study demonstrated high affinity levels of the newly proposed PBN fluorophore for a broad range of polymers and its ability to be used to discernibly identify polymer particles. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131406
    Microplastics as a vehicle of heavy metals in aquatic environments: A review of adsorption factors, mechanisms, and biological effects. Liu Si,Huang JinHui,Zhang Wei,Shi LiXiu,Yi KaiXin,Yu HanBo,Zhang ChenYu,Li SuZhou,Li JiaoNi Journal of environmental management Microplastics (MPs) have recently attracted much attention due to their widespread distribution in the aquatic environment. Microplastics can act as a vector of heavy metals in the aquatic environment, causing a potential threat to aquatic organisms and human health. This review mainly summarized the occurrence of microplastics in the aquatic environment and their interaction with heavy metals. Then, we considered the adsorption mechanisms of MPs and heavy metals, and further critically discussed the effects of microplastics properties and environmental factors (e.g., pH, DOM, and salinity) on the adsorption of heavy metals. Finally, the potential risks of combined exposure of MPs and heavy metals to aquatic biota were briefly evaluated. This work aims to provide a theoretical summary of the interaction between MPs and heavy metals, and is expected to serve as a reference for the accurate assessment of their potential risks in future studies. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113995
    Are research methods shaping our understanding of microplastic pollution? A literature review on the seawater and sediment bodies of the Mediterranean Sea. Simon-Sánchez Laura,Grelaud Michaël,Franci Marco,Ziveri Patrizia Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) The lack of standardization on the definition and methods in microplastic (MP) research has limited the overall interpretation and intercomparison of published data. This has presented different solutions to assess the presence of these pollutants in the natural environment, bringing the science forward. Microplastics have been reported worldwide across different biological levels and environmental compartments. In the Mediterranean Sea, numerous research efforts have been dedicated to defining the MP pollution levels. The reported MP concentrations are comparable to those found in the convergence zone of ocean gyres, pointing to this basin as one of the world's greatest plastic accumulation areas. However, to what extent are the data produced limited by the methods? Here, we present the results of a systematic review of MP research methods and occurrence targeting the seawater and sediment bodies of the Mediterranean Sea. Based on this dataset, we 1) assess the discrepancies and similarities in the methods, 2) analyze how these differences affect the reported concentrations, and 3) identify the limitations of the data produced for the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, we reaffirm the pressing need of developing a common reporting terminology, and call for international collaboration between Mediterranean countries, especially with North African countries, to provide a complete picture of the MP pollution status in this basin. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118275
    Microplastic pollution in Larimichthys polyactis in the coastal area of Jiangsu, China. Yuan Feng,Ding Yongcheng,Wang Ying,Yu Wenwen,Zou Xinqing,Chen Hongyu,Fu Guanghe,Ding Duo,Tang Jianhua,Tang Xiaojian,Zhang Zhaohui,Li Shihu,Li Dan Marine pollution bulletin We investigated microplastics (MPs) pollution in 349 Larimichthys polyactis specimens from the coastal area of Jiangsu Province, China. The MP abundance in L. polyactis was 1.03 ± 1.04 items/individual and 0.95 ± 0.92 items/10 g (wet weight). The MP abundance in specimens from the Haizhou Bay fishing ground was slightly higher than that in specimens from the Lvsi fishing ground. Spearman's correlation showed that MP abundance was positively correlated with body length when expressed as items/individual, but not items/10 g. The abundance in the gastrointestinal tract was slightly higher than that in the gills, but the differences were not significant for either measurement index. The MPs predominantly ingested by L. polyactis were <1 mm, fibrous, blue and had a cellophane composition. The MP pollution in L. polyactis in the coast of Jiangsu Province is at a medium to low level, as compared with other regions of China. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113050
    Trophic transfer of microbeads to jellyfish and the importance of aging microbeads for microplastic experiments. Sucharitakul Phuping,Pitt Kylie A,Welsh David T Marine pollution bulletin Concepts in microplastics studies are not well established due to the emerging nature of microplastic research, especially in jellyfish. We conducted experiments to test whether ephyrae would ingest more microbeads via trophic transfer than direct ingestion and whether medusae would ingest more aged microbeads than virgin microbeads. We exposed ephyrae of Aurelia coerulea to two treatments, aged microbeads and Artemia nauplii that had ingested microbeads. We found that the ephyrae ingested 35 times more microbeads via trophic transfer than by direct ingestion. In the second experiment, medusae of A. coerulea were exposed to virgin microbeads and microbeads in seawater under a 12/12 light/dark cycle or constant darkness. Ingestion rates of microbeads from the light incubation were greater than those from the dark incubation or virgin microbeads, suggesting the likely presence of photosynthetic organisms in biofilms from the light incubation increased the palatability of the microbeads and promoted their ingestion. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112867
    Corrigendum to "Microplastics in soil: A review on methods, occurrence, sources, and potential risk" [Sci. Total Environ., 780 (2021) 146546]. Yang Ling,Zhang Yulan,Kang Shichang,Wang Zhaoqing,Wu Chenxi The Science of the total environment 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149616
    A proposed nomenclature for microplastic contaminants. Shi Wenzhuo,Cui Tiefeng,Wu Haiwen,LeBlanc Gerald A,Wang Feifei,An Lihui Marine pollution bulletin Microplastics are emerging contaminants with a wide environmental distribution and potential to elicit adverse impacts on organisms. Despite this lack of consistency among reports, data obtained from different investigations are often compared, resulting in the potential for misrepresentation of global microplastic contamination. Major interlaboratory variability in quantification of microplastic levels stem from size-related differences in sampling and analysis with different density solutions to separate microplastics. Herein, we propose a nomenclature that provides key information relating to the microplastics abundance in samples. That is, the proposed nomenclature, MPs, informs on mesh or filter size used in sampling, the density of flotation solution used to separate the microplastics, and the detection limit during the analysis progress of microplastics. This proposed nomenclature would facilitate comparisons among studies to avoid over- or under-estimation of global microplastic levels. Moreover, it would also facilitate the interpretation of meta-data in future assessments. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112960
    Effects of polystyrene microplastics on the seed germination of herbaceous ornamental plants. Guo Ming,Zhao Furong,Tian Luwei,Ni Kaijie,Lu Yongquan,Borah Priyanka The Science of the total environment Although microplastic (MP) pollution has become an environmental issue worldwide, most related research has been confined to marine ecosystems. The impacts of MPs on terrestrial ecosystems, and especially on terrestrial plants, are poorly studied. In our study, different particle sizes (2 μm and 80 nm) and different concentrations (0, 10, 50, 100, and 500 mg·L) of polystyrene MPs were selected as the experimental materials, and their effects on three herbaceous ornamental plants, Trifolium repens, Orychophragmus violaceus, and Impatiens balsamina, were investigated. Seed germination tendency, germination rate, and various physiological and biochemical indicators were observed in the treated plants. The germination rates and germination potentials of these plants decreased significantly as the polystyrene MP concentration increased. Root formation, as well as a decrease in root hair density, was observed. The catalase, superoxide dismutase, hydrogen peroxide, proline, soluble protein, and soluble sugar contents all showed overall trends that increased first and then decreased, which conformed to the "Plant-ES" equation. Thus, polystyrene MPs appeared to have significant inhibitory effects on the seed germination processes of herbaceous ornamental plants. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151100
    Microparticles and microplastics released from daily use of plastic feeding and water bottles and plastic injectors: potential risks to infants and children in China. Song Ke,Ding Runrun,Sun Caiyun,Yao Lunguang,Zhang Weicheng Environmental science and pollution research international Daily use of plastic feeding and water bottles occur widely in China, and they could be sources for release of microplastics (MPs), which threaten the health of Chinese infants and children during daily usage. In this work, we investigated the use of polycarbonate (PC) and polypropylene (PP) for making water bottles (WBs) and polyphenylene sulfone resins (PPSU) for making feeding bottles (FBs), and we found that feeding bottles and water bottles released microparticles in amounts ranging from 53 to 393 particles/mL during 100 opening/closing cycles. The good linear regressions for plots of microparticles released vs. abrasion distance (r = 0.811) indicated that thick-necked bottles release more microparticles than thin-necked bottles. The brands and types of bottles (plastic vs. glass) influence microparticle release, and this indicates that high-quality plastic and glass bottles release fewer microparticles and are good for the health of infants and children. In addition to calcium stearate and silicone additives, the identified MPs account for 7.5 to 42.1% of released microparticles with different polymer types, sizes (from 20 to 500 μm) and shapes (cubic, spherical and irregular shapes). Additionally, an average of 1.74 MPs were released from an injection with a single-use plastic injector. Nevertheless, a number of microparticles and nanosized plastics were observed with all samples, suggesting that the health risks of micro- and nanosized particles to humans, especially babies and children, and the environment should be considered seriously. 10.1007/s11356-021-14939-7
    Bioaccumulation of emerging contaminants in mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis): Influence of microplastics. Álvarez-Ruiz Rodrigo,Picó Yolanda,Campo Julián The Science of the total environment Coastal environments are heavily influenced by human activities. Chemical substances considered as emerging contaminants (ECs) are one of the most important indicators of the anthropic influence on the environment, and they have recently shown to interact with microplastics (MPs). Mussels are suitable for in-lab bioacumulation studies providing insight about the occurrence and fate of contaminants in the organisms. In this study, bioacummulation of 20 chemical substances catalogued as ECs, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), pesticides, and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in Mytilus galloprovincialis was assessed, with or without the influence of the presence of MPs. Mussels were distributed in three groups: control (B), exposed to ECs (C) and exposed to ECs and polyethylene MPs (C+M). The study was carried out for 58 days separated in two stages (i) exposure during days 0-28, and (ii) depuration during days 29-58. Visceral mass and haemolymph of the mussels were extracted separately, using QuEChERS and solid phase extraction (SPE), respectively. Then, extracts were analysed via UHPLC-MS/MS. Results showed that 3 PPCPs, 4 pesticides and 3 PFASs accumulated in visceral mass with bioconcentration factors (BCFs) ranging 6.7-15000 L/kg/d. In addition, 2 PPCPs, 2 pesticides and PFPeA were detected in haemolymph showing BCFs ranging 0.9-3.3 L/kg/d. When comparing C and C+M, MPs worked as a vector for the accumulation of the PFASs: PFOA, PFOS, PFDA and PFPeA; showing higher BCFs in the presence of MPs. Furthermore, the elimination of PFDA and PFOS was slower in the mussels exposed to MPs. On the other hand, the pesticides terbuthylazine and chlorpyrifos showed lower BCFs and more rapid elimination in the mussels exposed to MPs. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149006
    Microplastics in a pelagic dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) from the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the implications for fish health. Li Weiwen,Pan Zhong,Xu Jing,Liu Qianlong,Zou Qingping,Lin Hui,Wu Lijun,Huang Hao The Science of the total environment Microplastic pollution in fish is a growing concern worldwide due to its implication for human health. Microplastic contaminations and impacts were investigated in 15 wild-caught commercially important dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus L.) from the Eastern Pacific Ocean waters. 1741 suspected particles were extracted from gills, esophagus, stomachs, intestinal tracts, and muscle of C. hippurus. Only 139 of them were identified as microplastics by microscopic inspections and micro-Raman spectroscopic analysis. 10, 34, 51, 35, and 9 out of these 139 microplastic particles were extracted from the gill, esophagus, stomach, intestinal tract, and muscle respectively. Overall, microplastics were detected in 15 out of 15 fish (100%), with ~9.3 pieces per individual on average. The prevalence and high incidence of occurrence of microplastics in the C. hippurus suggest that this pelagic species are at high risk of exposure to microplastic pollutions. The chemical composition of microplastics was made of polyester (PES, 46.8%), polyethylene terephthalate (PET, 38.1%), polypropylene (PP, 7.9%), polystyrene (PS, 5.0%), polyethylene-polypropylene copolymer (PE-PP, 1.4%), and polyethylene (PE, 0.7%). 36.7% and 13.7% of microplastics in the fish were 1-2.5 mm and 2.5-5 mm, respectively. Microplastics of 0.1-0.5 mm and 0.5-1 mm roughly shared equally the remaining 50%. Molecular docking results implied that interaction of the four dominant microplastic polymers (PES, PET, PP, and PS) with cytochrome P450 17A1 would lead to impairment of the reproductive function of C. hippurus. The findings provide insights on the harms from microplastic exposure, along with quantitative information of occurrence, abundance, and distribution of microplastics in the fish tissues, which will ultimately improve understanding of bioavailability and hazards of microplastics to the organisms and beyond to human via food chain transfer. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151126
    Effect of light irradiation on heavy metal adsorption onto microplastics. Lin Wei-Hong,Kuo Jeff,Lo Shang-Lien Chemosphere Microplastics are frequently found in many environmental media. Polypropylene (PP) is one of the plastics commonly used, resulting in more and more PP fragments in natural waters. Contaminants, such as lead (Pb), could get adsorbed onto microplastics after the exposure to sunlight, and pose a larger threat to aquatic species. In this study, the oxidative indices of PP pellets after different exposure times to a Xenon lamp were evaluated by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry. The results show that the percentage of oxygen content increased from 2.80 to 20.95 wt% and changes of characteristic peaks of the FTIR pattern, implying that the exposure to the Xenon lamp could initiate oxidation. Due to the changes of functional groups after the exposure to the Xenon lamp for 28 days, the adsorption capacities of the PP pellets were up to 274.4 mg⋅kg, 1.7 to 2.5 times higher than that of the raw PP pellets depending on the solution pHs. The adsorption behavior can be described by a pseudo-second-order model with rate constants of adsorption of 0.00212-0.01404 kg⋅mg⋅h. The increase of adsorption capacity due to changes of the PP pellets after the Xenon lamp exposure increased the potential risk to the aquatic species. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131457
    Adsorption behaviors and mechanisms of antibiotic norfloxacin on degradable and nondegradable microplastics. Sun Meng,Yang Yongkui,Huang Menglu,Fu Shaokang,Hao Yuying,Hu Siyu,Lai Donglin,Zhao Lin The Science of the total environment The misuse of both antibiotics and plastics significantly increases the environmental pollution problems associated with these contaminants. Moreover, microplastics can adsorb other pollutants in the environment. However, the mechanisms of antibiotic adsorption by degradable and nondegradable microplastics are not completely understood. In this study, we investigated the environmental behavior of norfloxacin (NOR) using polybutylene succinate (PBS), which is a degradable microplastic, and compared it with conventional microplastics, polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene (PE). The order of adsorption capacity was PS > PBS ≫ PE. The adsorption behavior fitted well with the pseudo-second-order kinetic and Langmuir isotherm models, indicating monolayer adsorption. The process is thermodynamically endothermic and non-spontaneous and is controlled by chemical and physical mechanisms, including π-π conjugation, hydrogen bonds, ion exchange, and electrostatic interactions. The adsorption capacity of microplastics was higher when the solution pH was around the pKa value of NOR than at other pH values. Ionic strength and dissolved organic matter inhibited the adsorption process. For PS and PBS, the amount of NOR adsorbed onto MPs initially decreased and then increased with the increase of coexisting heavy metal ions. Zn and Pb could promote the adsorption of NOR by PE. This study reveals the interaction mechanisms between microplastics and antibiotics and provides a more comprehensive theoretical basis for an ecological environmental risk assessment of different microplastics. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151042
    Uptake and accumulation of microplastic particles by two freshwater ciliates isolated from a local river in South Africa. Bulannga Rendani B,Schmidt Stefan Environmental research Microplastics are considered environmental pollutants of serious concern. In freshwater environments, they can affect aquatic biota and accumulate along the food web. Therefore, this study investigated the capacity of bacterivorous freshwater ciliates, essential members of the aquatic food chain, to ingest plain and fluorescently-labeled polystyrene microspheres. Two holotrich ciliates were isolated from a stream in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and identified as members of the genera Paramecium and Tetrahymena based on morphological characteristics and 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis. While the larger bacterivorous ciliate Paramecium sp. strain RB1 ingested all three sizes of plain polystyrene microbeads tested (2,5,10 μm), the smaller sized Tetrahymena sp. strain RB2 only ingested microbeads of 2 and 5 μm. The two ciliates ingested polystyrene microbeads at rates ranging from 1650 to 3870 particles x ciliate x hour for all particle sizes ingested, matching rates determined for selected microbial prey (E. coli, S. cerevisiae) of similar size. The ability to ingest non-nutritious microplastic particles was confirmed for both ciliates using fluorescently-labeled microbeads as these were detected in food vacuoles by fluorescence microscopy. Therefore, ciliates such as Paramecium sp. strain RB1 and Tetrahymena sp. strain RB2 can contribute to the transfer and bioaccumulation of microplastics in freshwater food webs in South Africa. 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112123
    Separation and identification of nanoplastics in tap water. Li Yu,Wang Zeqian,Guan Baohong Environmental research Microplastics pollution in freshwater has attracted global attentions, but when microplastics are broken into nanoplastics, they may present higher toxicity mainly due to their greater potential to cross biological membranes. So far almost no work has been done on the separation and identification of nanoplastics in tap water. Herein we removed large particles from tap water by 0.45 μm filter and then sequentially screened nanoparticles in filtrate by Anopore with pore size of 200, 100, and 20 nm, the most frequent particle sizes of which concentrate at 255 nm, 148 nm, and 58 nm, respectively. Based on characterization of FTIR, AFM-IR and Pyr-GC/MS, the polymers were identified to be polyolefins, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyamide, and some plastic additives. The abundance of nanoplastics with the most frequent particle sizes in range of 58-255 nm was 1.67-2.08 μg/L in tap water. This work provides a feasible method for separation and identification of nanoplastics in tap water, and manifests the existence of nanoplastics, which poses a potential threat to the health of residents. 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112134
    Responses of earthworm Metaphire vulgaris gut microbiota to arsenic and nanoplastics contamination. Wang Hong-Tao,Ma Lei,Zhu Dong,Ding Jing,Li Gang,Jin Bing-Jie,Shao Yuan-Hu,Zhang Wei-Xin,Song Meng-Ya,Fu Sheng-Lei The Science of the total environment The growing contamination of arsenic and plastics has severely effects on the soil fauna health, including shifts of gut microbiota community. A few studies have focused on effects of microplastics and metal(loid) in soil and fauna gut microbiome. However, the environmental effect of nanoplastics and arsenic on the earthworm gut microbiota, especially on arsenic biotransformation in the gut, remain largely unknown. Here, a microcosm study was performed to explore the effects of nanoplastics and arsenic on the microbiota characteristics in earthworm Metaphire vulgaris gut using Illumina high throughput sequencing, and to investigate changes in the gut microbiota-mediated arsenic biotransformation genes (ABGs) by using high-throughput quantitative PCR. Our results demonstrated that the concentration of arsenic in the earthworm body tissues after exposure to arsenic and nanoplastics was significantly lower from that with arsenic alone exposure. Moreover, the clearly different bacterial community was observed in the soil compared with the earthworm gut, which was dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes at phylum level. Arsenic exposure significantly disturbed bacterial community structure in the earthworm gut, but exposure to nanoplastics did not induce gut microbiota changes. More interestingly, nanoplastics can relieve adverse effect of arsenic on the gut microbiota possibly by adsorbing arsenic. In addition, a total of 16 ABGs were detected, and predominant genes involved in arsenic reduction and transport process were observed in the earthworm guts. In short, this study provides a new picture of the effects of nanoplastics and arsenic on the gut microbiota and arsenic biotransformation in soil fauna gut. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150279
    Washing load influences the microplastic release from polyester fabrics by affecting wettability and mechanical stress. Volgare Michela,De Falco Francesca,Avolio Roberto,Castaldo Rachele,Errico Maria Emanuela,Gentile Gennaro,Ambrogi Veronica,Cocca Mariacristina Scientific reports Microplastics released from textiles during the washing process represent the most prevalent type of microparticles found in different environmental compartments and ecosystems around the world. Release of microfibres during the washing process of synthetic textiles is due to the mechanical and chemical stresses that clothes undergo in washing machines. Several washing process parameters, conditions, formulations of laundering additives have been correlated to microfibre release and some of them have been identified to affect microfibre release during washing process, while no correlation has been evaluated between microfibre release and washing load. In the present study, microfibre release was evaluated as function of the washing load in a real washing process, indicating a progressive decrease of microfibre release with increasing washing load. The quantity of released microfibres increased by around 5 times by decreasing the washing load due to a synergistic effect between water-volume to fabric ratio and mechanical stress during washing. Moreover, the higher mechanical stress to which the fabric is subjected in the case of a low washing load, hinders the discrimination of the effect on the release of other washing parameters like the type of detergent and laundry additives used. 10.1038/s41598-021-98836-6
    Critical review of environmental impacts of microfibers in different environmental matrices. Kwak Jin Il,Liu Huanliang,Wang Dayong,Lee Young Hwan,Lee Jae-Seong,An Youn-Joo Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP Microfibers, as globally emerging environmental pollutants, have received increasing attention over recent years. In ecosystems, natural textile microfibers are the predominant fibers. The inadvertent ingestion of microplastics by organisms in an ecosystem provides a channel for microfibers to enter biological webs. Based on existing research on microfibers, this review summarizes the potential adverse impacts of microfibers on organisms living in marine, freshwater, and soil ecosystems, and provides a brief introduction to the source of microfibers, as well as the related current status and future challenges. Although previous studies have recorded the adverse effects of microfibers on ecosystems, there remains a lack of evidence on the toxic effects of microfibers on the primary producer level in food chains (e.g., phytoplankton). This is essential, as the long-term effects of microfiber toxicity on different ecosystems ultimately affect human health. The analysis of microfiber toxicity paves the way for the field of environmental research and provides future perspectives for researchers in the fields of ecotoxicology and microplastics. 10.1016/j.cbpc.2021.109196
    Organic pollutants in deep sea: Occurrence, fate, and ecological implications. Sanganyado Edmond,Chingono Kudakwashe E,Gwenzi Willis,Chaukura Nhamo,Liu Wenhua Water research The deep sea - an oceanic layer below 200 m depths - has important global biogeochemical and nutrient cycling functions. It also receives organic pollutants from anthropogenic sources, which threatens the ecological function of the deep sea. In this Review, critically examined data on the distribution of organic pollutants in the deep sea to outline the role of biogeochemical and geophysical factors on the global distribution and regional chemodynamics of organic pollutants in the deep sea. We found that the contribution of deep water formation to the influx of perfluorinated compounds reached a maximum, following peak emission, faster in young deep waters (< 10 years) compared to older deep waters (> 100 years). For example, perfluorinated compounds had low concentrations (< 10 pg L) and vertical variations in the South Pacific Ocean where the ocean currents are old (< 1000 years). Steep geomorphologies of submarine canyons, ridges, and valleys facilitated the transport of sediments and associated organic pollutants by oceanic currents from the continental shelf to remote deep seas. In addition, we found that, even though an estimated 1.2-4.2 million metric tons of plastic debris enter the ocean through riverine discharge annually, the role of microplastics as vectors of organic pollutants (e.g., plastic monomers, additives, and attached organic pollutants) in the deep sea is often overlooked. Finally, we recommend assessing the biological effects of organic pollutants in deep sea biota, large-scale monitoring of organic pollutants, reconstructing historical emissions using sediment cores, and assessing the impact of deep-sea mining on the ecosystem. 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117658
    The microplastic pollution in beaches that served as historical nesting grounds for green turtles on Hainan Island, China. Zhang Ting,Lin Liu,Li Deqin,Wu Shannan,Kong Li,Wang Jichao,Shi Haitao Marine pollution bulletin This study evaluated microplastic pollution in beaches that have served as historical nesting grounds for green turtles in Hainan Island, China and explored the sources of microplastic pollutants to conduct habitat restoration for sea turtles. The average abundance of the microplastics in the beach surface sediments was 2567.38 ± 2937.37 pieces·m or 641.85 ± 734.34 thousand pieces·m, foam and plastic block were the main microplastics identified. Microplastic size was predominantly within the 0.05-1 mm category (small microplastic particles), and most microplastic particles were white. Polystyrene and polyethylene were the dominant plastic compositions. The type and compositions of microplastics indicate that most microplastics in this study were broken from large plastic blocks and foam. To reduce the threat of microplastic pollution to marine life, including sea turtles, we suggested removing plastic litter, especially small plastic on beaches, and replacing and recovering the foam used in aquaculture before it ages and fragments. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113069
    Corrigendum to "Bioaccumulation of emerging contaminants in mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis): Influence of microplastics" [Sci. Total Environ. 796 (2021) 149006]. Álvarez-Ruiz Rodrigo,Picó Yolanda,Campo Julián The Science of the total environment 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149673
    Microglial phagocytosis of polystyrene microplastics results in immune alteration and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Kwon Wookbong,Kim Daehwan,Kim Hee-Yeon,Jeong Sang Won,Lee Se-Guen,Kim Hyun-Chul,Lee Young-Jae,Kwon Mi Kyung,Hwang Jun-Seong,Han Jee Eun,Park Jin-Kyu,Lee Sung-Jun,Choi Seong-Kyoon The Science of the total environment The remarkable increase in plastic usage and widespread microplastic (MP) pollution has emerged as a substantial concern today. Many recent studies have revealed MPs as potentially hazardous substances in mammals. Despite several reports on the impact of small MPs in the brain and behaviors in aquatic animals, it is still unclear how small MPs affect the brain and its underlying cellular physiology in terrestrial animals. In this study, we investigated the accumulation of polystyrene MPs (PS-MPs) in mouse brain after oral treatment using three types of fluorescent PS-MPs of different sizes (0.2,2 and 10 μm). We found that PS-MPs were deposited in microglial cells of the brain. Following differential treatment of PS-MPs in human microglial HMC-3 cells, we identified changes in cellular morphology, immune responses, and microglial apoptosis induced by phagocytosis of 0.2 and 2 μm PS-MPs. By analyzing the PS-MP-treated HMC-3 cell transcriptome, we showed that PS-MPs treatment altered the expression of clusters of immune response genes, immunoglobulins, and several related microRNAs. In addition, we confirmed alterations in microglial differentiation marker expression with the activation of NF-κB, pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptotic markers in PS-MP-treated human microglial cells and in mouse brain. Our findings suggest a potential risk of small PS-MPs in microglial immune activation, which leads to microglial apoptosis in murine and human brains. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150817
    Microplastics in rivers and coastal waters of the province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Capparelli Mariana V,Molinero Jon,Moulatlet Gabriel M,Barrado Miren,Prado-Alcívar Santiago,Cabrera Marcela,Gimiliani Giovana,Ñacato Carolina,Pinos-Velez Veronica,Cipriani-Avila Isabel Marine pollution bulletin This study represents the first assessment of microplastic (MP) contamination in the coastal area of the Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador. MPs were quantified in 14 coastal waters in beaches with different urbanization level and in 10 rivers. The most abundant MP types were transparent fibres, brown fragments, grey fragments, transparent fragments, and black fragments, which together represented 84% of the total count. Coastal waters presented significantly higher quantities of MP than rivers. No difference in microplastic abundance was detected between beaches with higher and lower urban occupation, nor between beaches facing North or West. Our results indicate that MP contamination is widespread, and most likely transported from multiple sources. Our results can serve as a baseline for future MP monitoring in the area. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113067
    Organochlorine pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals and metalloids in microplastics found in regurgitated pellets of black vulture from Campeche, Mexico. Borges-Ramírez Merle M,Escalona-Segura Griselda,Huerta-Lwanga Esperanza,Iñigo-Elias Eduardo,Osten Jaime Rendón-von The Science of the total environment Plastics are produced by the millions of tons worldwide each year, with their final deposition in landfills (LFs). Plastics deposited in LFs can fragment over time, giving rise to mesoplastics and later to microplastics (MPs), in which toxic chemicals such as heavy metals, organochlorine pesticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can adhere. MPs can be vectors for the exposure to pollutants of black vultures (Coragyps atratus) due to feeding in LFs, resulting in accidental ingestion of MPs. It is also possible that MPs can adsorb pollutants from vultures during the digestion process. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of black vulture exposure to MPs, heavy metals (HMs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Fifty-eight black vulture pellets were collected at the Campeche LF during 2019 (n = 24) and 2020 (n = 34). The pellets, on average, had an MP load per pellet of 6.7 ± 5.8 MPs/total pellets. The greatest abundance of MPs was detected in 2019, with 225 particles in total. The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr, Hg, As, and Al were detected in the MPs, with the greatest average concentration of 35.59 ± 32.39 μg·g (2019) and 15.82 ± 17.47 μg·g (2020) for Al. In 2020, ∑endosulfans were present in all MPs at 0.97 ± 1.47 ng·g. Among the PAHs, 15 of the 16 compounds indicated as priorities by the US EPA were quantified. The compound with the greatest total concentration for both years was acenaphthylene (3 rings), with 10.51 ± 7.88 ng·g (2019) and 10.61 ± 18 ng·g (2020). More research is needed regarding the origin of the contaminants detected in the MPs extracted from the pellets, since the contaminants may come from the environment or possibly from the digestion processes in the stomach of avian raptors and scavengers. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149674
    Microplastics are everywhere - but are they harmful? Lim XiaoZhi Nature 10.1038/d41586-021-01143-3
    Photoaging enhanced the adverse effects of polyamide microplastics on the growth, intestinal health, and lipid absorption in developing zebrafish. Zhang Xingli,Xia Mengli,Zhao Jingyi,Cao Zhiguo,Zou Wei,Zhou Qixing Environment international The safety of microplastics (MPs) and associated health effects has been one of the major concerns worldwide. However, the role of photoaging toward the risk of MPs in water ecosystems remains inconclusive yet. In this study, the size of polyamide (PA, ∼32.50 μm) MPs was obviously decreased after photoaging in water containing fulvic acid (FA) and humic acid (HA) (∼19.75 and ∼24.30 μm, respectively). Nanoplastics were formed (4.65% and 2.03%, respectively) and hydrophilia and colloidal stability was improved due to the formation of oxygen-containing functional groups. FA-aged PA exhibited higher inhibition on body length and weight of developing zebrafish than HA-aged and pristine PA. Photoaged MPs in intestine were more difficult to be depurated by zebrafish, leading to the disappearance of intestinal folding, shedding of more enterocytes, and emaciation of intestinal microvilli. Dietary lipid digestion in larvae was inhibited by aged PA due to oxidative stress-triggered lipid peroxidation and inhibition of lipase activities and bile acids secretion. Exposure of photoaged MPs down-regulated genes (cd36, dgat1a, dgat2, mttp, etc.) associated with triglyceride resynthesis and transportation, resulting in lipid maladsorption and growth inhibition. Our findings highlight the potential negative effects of environmentally aged MPs on diet digestion and nutrient assimilation in fish. 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106922
    Microplastics in zooplankton in the eastern Arabian Sea: The threats they pose to fish and corals favoured by coastal currents. Rashid C P,Jyothibabu R,Arunpandi N,Abhijith V T,Josna M P,Vidhya V,Gupta G V M,Ramanamurty M V Marine pollution bulletin The baseline study of Microplastics (MPs) in zooplankton (copepods, chaetognaths, decapods, and fish larvae) from six different zones along India's west coast (off Kanyakumari/Cape Comorin, Kochi, Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai, and Okha) in the Eastern Arabian Sea (EAS) is presented here with their vast ecosystem impacts. This investigation revealed that zooplankton in all six zones accumulated MPs pellets (52.14%), fibres (28.40%), films (10.51%), and fragments (8.95%). The highest average retention of MPs (MPs/individual) was found in fish larvae (av. 0.57 ± 0.18) while copepods had the lowest (av. 0.03 ± 0.01). The presence of low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate was confirmed by Raman Spectra of MPs. The MPs in zooplankton found in this study (av. 22 ± 7 pieces/m) were nearly 2-fold greater than those found in some of the world's most densely populated areas. It is shown that the strong southerly coastal currents could advect the MPs contaminated water mass too far away, having the potential to affect the fish and corals. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113042
    Comparing the sorption of pyrene and its derivatives onto polystyrene microplastics: Insights from experimental and computational studies. Yang Chenghu,Wu Wei,Zhou Xiaotian,Hao Qing,Li Tiejun,Liu Yangzhi Marine pollution bulletin In this study, the sorption behaviors and mechanisms between polystyrene microplastics (micro-PS) and 4-rings polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) pyrene (Pyr) and its derivatives (S-Pyr), including 1-methylpyrene (P-CH), 1-hydroxypyrene (P-OH), 1-aminopyrene (P-NH), 1-pyrenecarboxylic acid (P-COOH) were investigated at neutrality. The results revealed that the sorption rates of micro-PS for S-Pyr were higher than those for parent Pyr. Meanwhile, -CH could slightly facilitate the sorption, whereas -OH, P-NH, and P-COOH intensively inhibit the sorption of S-Pyr onto micro-PS. The sorption capacities of Pyr/S-Pyr increased with decreasing size of micro-PS. Besides, the effects of salinity and temperature on the sorption characteristics of micro-PS for Pyr/S-Pyr depended on their substituents. Combined with experimental and computational methods, it could be concluded that the main sorption mechanisms were possibly hydrophobic interaction, π-π interaction and pore-filling. The observations reported here could improve predictions of environmental behaviors and bioavailability of PAHs and micro-PS. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113086
    Label-free identification of microplastics in human cells: dark-field microscopy and deep learning study. Ishmukhametov Ilnur,Nigamatzyanova Läysän,Fakhrullina Gӧlnur,Fakhrullin Rawil Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry The development of an automatic method of identifying microplastic particles within live cells and organisms is crucial for high-throughput analysis of their biodistribution in toxicity studies. State-of-the-art technique in the data analysis tasks is the application of deep learning algorithms. Here, we propose the approach of polystyrene microparticle classification differing only in pigmentation using enhanced dark-field microscopy and a residual neural network (ResNet). The dataset consisting of 11,528 particle images has been collected to train and evaluate the neural network model. Human skin fibroblasts treated with microplastics were used as a model to study the ability of ResNet for classifying particles in a realistic biological experiment. As a result, the accuracy of the obtained classification algorithm achieved up to 93% in cell samples, indicating that the technique proposed will be a potent alternative to time-consuming spectral-based methods in microplastic toxicity research. 10.1007/s00216-021-03749-y
    Exploring the toxicity of the aged styrene-butadiene rubber microplastics to petroleum hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria under compound pollution system. Zhao Changrong,Xu Tong,He Miao,Shah Kinjal J,You Zhaoyang,Zhang Ting,Zubair Muhammad Ecotoxicology and environmental safety As a new pollutant, microplastics have increasingly drawn public attention to its toxic behavior in the environment. The aim was to investigate the effect of styrene-butadiene-rubber microplastics (mSBR) with different degrees of aging on petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) degrading bacteria in an environment with simultaneously existing pollutants. A series of experiments were carried out to investigate the changes in the physical and chemical properties of mSBR with aging and to examine the influence of these changes on the inhibition of PHC-degrading bacteria by mSBR in the vicinity of coexisting pollutants. The results showed that in the early stage of ultraviolet aging (10d), the particle surface shows wrinkles, but the structure is intact. After reaching the late stage of aging (20d), nano-scale fragments were generated on the surface of mSBR, the average particle size decreased from 3.074 µm to 2.297 µm, and the zeta potential increased from - 25.1 mV to - 33.1 mV. The inhibitory effect of bacteria is greater. At the same time, these changes in the physicochemical properties increase the adsorption effect of Cd by 20%, and also improve the stability of mSBR in solution, whereby bacterial growth is inhibited by inhibiting the LPO activity and protein concentration of PHC degrading bacteria. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112903
    Microplastics in bivalves, water and sediments from a touristic sandy beach of Argentina. Truchet D M,López A D Forero,Ardusso M G,Rimondino G N,Buzzi N S,Malanca F E,Spetter C V,Severini M D Fernández Marine pollution bulletin This study assesses for the first time the concentrations of microplastics (MPs) in sediments, water and two human-consumed mussels with different ecological traits (Amarilladesma mactroides and Brachidontes rodriguezii) in a touristic sandy beach of Argentina. MPs were characterized through FTIR and SEM/EDX techniques. All the samples presented MPs with similar concentrations as other human-impacted coastal areas of the world, being black and blue fibers of < 0.5 and 0.5-1 mm the most abundant. SEM images exhibited cracks and fractures with clay minerals and microorganisms adhered to MPs surface. EDX spectrums showed potentially toxic elements, such as Cr, Ti, and Mo. FTIR identified polymers such as cellulose, polyamides, and polyacrylates in most of the samples analyzed. Our study demonstrates that microplastic pollution is a common threat to sandy beaches in Argentina, worsened by plastic particles carrying metal ions with potential toxic effects to the biota, including A. mactroides, an endangered species. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113023
    Occurrence, stability and source identification of small size microplastics in the Jiayan reservoir, China. Niu Jinqiong,Gao Bo,Wu Wenqiang,Peng Wenqi,Xu Dongyu The Science of the total environment Microplastics (MPs) in terrestrial aquatic ecosystems has received increasing attention. However, its footprints in reservoirs are poorly documented compared to those in rivers and lakes, especially for small-sized microplastics (<300 μm, SMPs). This study investigated the whole size spectrum of MPs contamination, classified by shape and polymer type, in surface waters and sediments at the Jiayan reservoir, one of the cascade reservoirs in the Upper Yangtze River in western China. High concentrations of MPs were detected in all surface water and sediment samples. The MPs abundances ranged from 1.10 × 10 to 6.17 × 10 items/m (average 2.75 × 10 ± 2.33 × 10 items/m) in the surface water and 2.60 × 10 to 1.57 × 10 items/kg (average 6.90 × 10 ± 5.96 × 10 items/kg) in the sediment. The SMPs accounted for 80% of the total MPs particles, and were dominated by polyethylene (PE) fragment. Small-sized PE was the main contributor to the high abundance of MPs in the Jiayan reservoir. Neglecting SMPs not only leads to an underestimation of the degree of risk, but also causes misjudgment of the major morphology, components, and sources. The conditional fragmentation model analysis showed the stability of MPs increased from the fibers to fragments and fibers tend to disintegrate into smaller particles. Agricultural activities and atmospheric deposition were the main sources of MPs in the Jiayan reservoir. This study indicates that the reservoirs are presumably hotspots for MPs accumulation, and the fate of SMPs in the cascade reservoirs deserves more attention for further studies. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150832
    Prolonged oral ingestion of microplastics induced inflammation in the liver tissues of C57BL/6J mice through polarization of macrophages and increased infiltration of natural killer cells. Zhao Liangtao,Shi Wenyuan,Hu Fangfang,Song Xujun,Cheng Zhangjun,Zhou Jiahua Ecotoxicology and environmental safety Microplastics (< 5 mm diameter) are one of most important environmental pollutants and contaminants worldwide. However, how microplastics affect liver immune microenvironment in not well understood. Microplastics (0.5 µm) were administered orally to C57BL/6J mice for 4 consecutive weeks at the rate of 0.5 mg/day. Non-parenchymal cells were isolated from of the mice through fractionation of fresh hepatic tissues. The immune landscape for four cell populations of B cells, T cells, NK cells and macrophages in the liver tissues was then evaluated using flow cytometry. The secretion level of inflammatory cytokines and associated signaling pathway were investigated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot. Oral ingestion of microplastics increases liver weight, general liver index as well as expression of serum, liver function-related indicators. Microplastics also increased the infiltration of natural killer cells and macrophages to non-parenchymal liver cells, but reduced that of B cells to the same tissues. However, microplastics had no effect on the infiltration of T cell to non-parenchymal liver cells. Ingestion of MPs also up-regulated the expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-33 mRNA, but down-regulated that of IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-18 and TGF-β1. Overall, the aforementioned processes were regulated via the NF-κB pathway in the hepatic non-parenchymal cells. Microplastics disrupts inflammatory process in liver tissues via the NF-κB signaling pathway. These findings provide a strong foundation on immune processes in hepatic tissues following prolonged ingestion of microplastics. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112882
    Structure-dependent surface catalytic degradation of cephalosporin antibiotics on the aged polyvinyl chloride microplastics. Wang Chao,Liang Sijia,Bai Lihua,Gu Xinyue,Jin Xin,Xian Zeyu,Wu Bing,Ok Yong Sik,Li Kan,Wang Rui,Zhong Huan,Gu Cheng Water research Microplastics (MPs) have been recognized as a global concern due to their potential health effect, as MPs could adsorb and carry various pollutants in aquatic environment. In the present study, a new environmental behavior related to polyvinyl chloride microplastics (PVC-MPs) and the underlying mechanism were described. Our results showed that the photo-aged PVC-MPs could affect the transformation of cephalosporin antibiotics. For instance, the presence of altered PVC-MPs significantly accelerated the hydrolysis of cefazolin (CFZ), but exhibited negligible effect on the degradation of cephalexin (CFX). As indicated by in situ Fourier transform infrared spectra and theoretical calculations, hydrogen bonds could be formed between β-lactam carbonyl of CFZ and the oxygen-containing moieties on the aged PVC-MP surfaces. The hydrogen-bonding was able to significantly increase the positive atomic Mulliken charge on the β-lactam carbonyl carbon, thus narrowing the energy gap of CFZ hydrolysis and subsequently enhancing the disruption of β-lactam ring. While for CFX, instead of the β-lactam carbonyl, the amide amino group was involved in the hydrogen-bonding due to the structural difference. Therefore, in addition to increasing the adsorption capacity, the aged PVC-MPs could act as the catalyst to mediate the transformation of antibiotics. Our study would help improve the understanding for interactions between contaminants and MPs in natural environments. 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117732
    A first assessment of marine meso-litter and microplastics on beaches: Where does Mauritius stand? Mattan-Moorgawa Sushma,Chockalingum Jemina,Appadoo Chandani Marine pollution bulletin Marine litter is a major global concern that is threatening marine ecosystems. This study assessed the meso-litter and microplastics density around Mauritius Island, South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) region. WIOMSA guidelines were used for meso-litter and microplastics sampling from October to December 2019 at 12 sites. A total of 1095 meso-litter items (weighing 1250 g) was sampled. Plastics were the most abundant litter category. 'Shoreline and recreational activities' were the main meso-litter source. Microplastics density was highest at the vegetation line (VL) zone. Fragments, mostly blue-coloured, were the most encountered type of microplastics, and polyethylene was the most prevalent polymer type. This study provides important baseline data which can be used by relevant authorities for more effective waste management strategies and awareness campaigns that will help further mitigate the marine litter problem in Mauritius, and to check the effectiveness of management measures in place. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112941
    New insights on aging mechanism of microplastics using PARAFAC analysis: Impact on 4-nitrophenol removal via Statistical Physics Interpretation. Priyanka M,Saravanakumar M P The Science of the total environment The aging effects of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microplastics were studied under Fenton process and Seawater. This research work mainly focuses on the aging mechanism of PET microplastics under two different conditions and their effect of aging on the adsorption of organic contaminants. The results of optical microscopic images, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman Spectroscopy, carbonyl, carboxyl index, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) help to understand the aging mechanism of PET microplastics. Parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) and two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS) were performed using 3D Excitation-Emission Matrix (3D-EEM) to understand the possible dissolved organic matter released during the Fenton process and seawater. The release of protein/phenol like components was observed in seawater whereas humic acid-like component was noted in the Fenton process. Later, the aged PET microplastics were tested for their adsorption capacity towards 4-nitrophenol at three different temperatures (15, 30 and 45 °C). The adsorption capacity of aged microplastics was found to be higher than the normal PET microplastics for all three different temperatures. Hydrogen bonding, n-pi interaction performed a significant role than pi-pi and hydrophobic interaction in the adsorption mechanism. A double layer with double energy model was found to be the best fit in the adsorption processes. The calculated adsorption energies (ΔE, ΔE) from the statistical physics modeling also confirms the physisorption mechanism. The above experimental results help to understand the behavior of microplastics at different aging period and how it acts as a carrier for pollutant in the marine environment. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150819
    Microplastics in freshwater: A global review of factors affecting spatial and temporal variations. Talbot Rebecca,Chang Heejun Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Microplastics are a pollutant of growing concern, capable of harming aquatic organisms and entering the food web. While freshwater microplastic research has expanded in recent years, much remains unknown regarding the sources and delivery pathways of microplastics in these environments. This review aims to address the scientific literature regarding the spatial and temporal factors affecting global freshwater microplastic distributions and abundances. A total of 75 papers, published through June 2021 and containing an earliest publication date of October 2014, was identified by a Web of Science database search. Microplastic spatial distributions are heavily influenced by anthropogenic factors, with higher concentrations reported in regions characterized by urban land cover, high population density, and wastewater treatment plant effluent. Spatial distributions may also be affected by physical watershed characteristics such as slope and elevation (positive and negative correlations with microplastic concentrations, respectively), although few studies address these factors. Temporal variables of influence include precipitation and stormwater runoff (positive correlations) and water flow/discharge (negative correlations). Despite these overarching trends, variations in study results may be due to differing scales or contributing area delineations. Thus, more rigorous and standardized spatial analytical methods are needed. Future research could simultaneously evaluate both spatial and temporal factors and incorporate finer temporal resolutions into sampling campaigns. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118393