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

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    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
    Publication date2017
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-61615-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    SeriesThe Handbook of Environmental Chemistry


    • 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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