Aquatic Ecotoxicity of Microplastics and Nanoplastics: Lessons Learned from Engineered Nanomaterials

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Abstract

The widespread occurrence of microplastics in the aquatic environment is well documented through international surveys and scientific studies. Further degradation and fragmentation, resulting in the formation of nanosized plastic particles – nanoplastics – has been highlighted as a potentially important issue. In the environment, both microplastics and nanoplastics may have direct ecotoxicological effects, as well as vector effects through the adsorption of co-contaminants. Plastic additives and monomers may also be released from the polymer matrix and cause adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Although limited information regarding the ecotoxicological effects of nano- and microplastics is available at present, their small size gives rise to concern with respect to the adverse effects and dislocation of these particles inside organisms – similar to issues often discussed for engineered nanomaterials. In the same way, transport of co-contaminants and leaching of soluble substances are much debated issues with respect to the ecotoxicology of nanomaterials.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFreshwater Microplastics - Emerging Environmental Contaminants?
EditorsM. Wagner, S. Lambert
Number of pages25
PublisherSpringer
Publication date2017
Pages25-49
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-61615-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesThe Handbook of Environmental Chemistry
Volume58

Keywords

  • Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Quality/Water Pollution
  • Geochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Marine & Freshwater Sciences
  • Biological effects
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Test methods
  • Vector effects

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