Risk assessment of harmful types of plastics in the marine environment

Research output: Book/ReportReport – Annual report year: 2019Research


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This report presents the results of a risk assessment of residual chemical additives, monomers and degradation products present in microplastic (MP) particles in the marine environment. Seven cases of different polymer types and product groups are defined that represent the most significant exposures of MPs, and thus potential highrisk cases towards marine organisms. Risk Quotients (RQ) are calculated for three trophic levels, i.e. pelagic/planktonic zooplankton: copepod, benthopelagic fish: atlantic cod and seabird: northern fulmar. Danish Miljøkvalitetskrav (MKK) and European Environmental Quality Standard (EQS) values are used as toxicity threshold values. RQ larger than unity, which indicates potential risk, is estimated for copepod and cod (pelagic community) and the flame-retardant pentabromdiphenylether (PeBDE) used in polyurethane (PUR), the biocide tributyltin (TBT) used in polyvinylchloride (PVC) and PUR, and the flame-retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) used in expanded polystyrene (EPS). The highest estimated RQ for fulmar (secondary poisoning) is 0.1 for PeBDE used in PUR.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAarhus
PublisherAarhus University, DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy
Number of pages76
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7156-418-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesScientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy

    Research areas

  • Chemical risk assessment, Additives, Residual monomers, Degradation products, Marine environment, Fate, Effects, Nano, Analytical methods, Uncertainties

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ID: 189234936