Microplastics (MPs) have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern in aquatic environments and research into their behavior and fate has been sharply increasing in recent years. Nevertheless, significant gaps remain in our understanding of several crucial aspects of MP exposure and risk assessment, including the quantification of emissions, dominant fate processes, types of analytical tools required for characterization and monitoring, and adequate laboratory protocols for analysis and hazard testing. This Feature aims at identifying transferrable knowledge and experience from engineered nanoparticle (ENP) exposure assessment. This is achieved by comparing ENP and MPs based on their similarities as particulate contaminants, whereas critically discussing specific differences. We also highlight the most pressing research priorities to support an efficient development of tools and methods for MPs environmental risk assessment.
Thorsten Hüffer, Antonia Praetorius, Stephan Wagner, Frank von der Kammer, and Thilo Hofmann, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (5), pp 2499–2507