This study aimed to determine whether the uptake and localization of Ag in zebrafish was affected by the presence of polyethylene microplastic beads (PE MPBs). Zebrafish were exposed to 1 μg Ag L−1 (radiolabelled with 110mAg) for 4 and 24 h in the presence or absence of PE MPBs (10, 100 or 1000 MPBs mL−1), and one treatment in which MPBs (1000 MPBs mL−1) were incubated with Ag to promote adsorption. The presence of MPBs, at any of the tested doses, had no effect on the uptake or localization of Ag. However, exposure to the Ag-incubated MPBs (∽75% of the Ag bound to MPBs) significantly reduced Ag uptake at both time points and also significantly increased the proportion of intestinal Ag. This study demonstrates that microplastics can alter the bioavailability and uptake route of a metal contaminant in a model fish species.
Farhan R. Khan, Kristian Syberg, Yvonne Shashoua, Nicolas R. Bury, Environmental Pollution, Volume 206, Pages 73–79, November 2015