Microplastics in freshwater systems: a review of the emerging threats, identification of knowledge gaps and prioritisation of research needs

Plastic contamination is an increasing environmental problem in marine systems where it has spread globally to even the most remote habitats. Plastic pieces in smaller size scales, microplastics (particles <5mm), have reached high densities (e.g., 100 000 items per m3) in waters and sediments, and are interacting with organisms and the environment in a variety of ways. Early investigations of freshwater systems suggest microplastic presence and interactions are equally as far reaching as are being observed in marine systems. Microplastics are being detected in freshwaters of Europe, North America, and Asia, and the first organismal studies are finding that freshwater fauna across a range of feeding guilds ingest microplastics. (…)

Dafne Eerkes-Medrano, Richard C. Thompson, David C. Aldridge, Water Research, Volume 75, Pages 63–82, 15 May 2015

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