Once non-biodegradable, microplastics remain on the environment absorbing toxic hydrophobic compounds making them a risk to biodiversity when ingested or filtered by organisms and entering in the food chain. To evaluate the potential of the contamination by microplastics in mussels cultivated in Jurujuba Cove, Niterói, RJ, waters of three stations were collected during a rain and dry seasons using a plankton net and later filtered. Microplastics were quantified and characterized morphologically and chemically. The results showed a high concentration of microplastics in both seasons with diversity of colors, types and sizes. Synthetic polymers were present in all samples. The presence of microplastics was probably due to a high and constant load of effluent that this area receives and to the mussel farming activity that use many plastic materials. Areas with high concentrations of microplastics could not be used for mussel cultivation due to the risk of contamination to consumers.
Rebeca Oliveira Castro, Melanie L. Silva, Mônica Regina C. Marques, Fábio V. de Araújo, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 110, Issue 1, 15 September 2016, Pages 555–558