Microplastic contamination in natural mussel beds from a Brazilian urbanized coastal region: Rapid evaluation through bioassessment

Microplastic pollution (particles < 5 mm) is a widespread marine threat and a trigger for biological effects, especially if ingested. The mussel Perna perna, an important food resource, was used as bioindicator to investigate the presence of microplastic pollution on Santos estuary, the most urbanized area of the coast of São Paulo State, Brazil. A simple and rapid assessment showed that 75% of sampled mussels had ingested microplastics, an issue of human and environmental concern. All sampling points had contaminated mussels and this contamination had no clear pattern of distribution along the estuary. This was the first time that microplastic bioavailability was assessed in nature for the southern hemisphere and that wild P. perna was found contaminated with this pollutant. This is an important issue that should be better assessed due to an increase in seafood consumption and culture in Brazil and worldwide.

M.F.M. Santana, L.G. Ascer, M.R. Custódio, F.T. Moreira, A. Turra, Marine Pollution Bulletin Volume 106, Issues 1–2, Pages 183–189, 15 May 2016

The article

 

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