Presence of microplastics in the stomachs of Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1857 in Çardak Lagoon, Çanakkale Strait, Turkey

This paper reports the presence of microplastic in the stomachs of the Mediterranean green crab, Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1857. The crabs were collected from six sites chosen in the Çardak Lagoon (Çanakkale Strait). Plastic fibers were observed in the stomach contents of three male individuals. Since C. aestuarii is an important food for fish and birds in estuarine and lagoon areas, microplastics can go up to the trophic levels by entering the food chain.

, Cah. Biol. Mar. (2018) 59 : 493 – 496

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Incidence and identification of microfibers in ocean waters in Admiralty Bay, Antarctica

Antarctic pristine environment is threatened by the presence of microplastics that occur in a variety of shapes and sizes, from fibers to irregular fragments. The aim of this study is to assess the abundance, distribution, and the characterization of the microfibers in zooplankton samples found in ocean waters in Admiralty Bay, Antarctica. The samples were collected at five points in Admiralty Bay during the XXIX Brazilian Antarctic Expedition in the austral summer of 2010–2011. A total of 603 microfibers were collected in 60 samples, with an average abundance of 2.40 (± 4.57) microfibers 100 m−3. Microfiber size ranging from ca. 10 to 22 μm in diameter of various lengths and colors (blue, red, black, and clear) was collected and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy. Most of these microfibers were entangled in various different zooplankton species and were identified as polymers composed mostly by polyethyleneglycols, polyurethanes, polyethylene terephthalates, and polyamides. The presence of such microfibers may cause the loss of biodiversity in the Antarctic continent, and the results presented herein can contribute to a better understanding of the impact caused by them within the food chain and human health.

Theresinha Monteiro Absher, Silvio Luiz Ferreira, Yargos Kern, Augusto Luiz FerreiraJr, Susete Wambier Christo, Rômulo Augusto Ando, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, , Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 292–298

The article

Detection of microplastics in local marine organisms using a multi-technology system

Microplastics with complex polymer compositions are present in a lot of marine organisms. In this study, successive stereo microscopy and micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy equipped with attenuated total reflection (μ-ATR-FTIR) in combination with scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) were implemented to establish a highly accurate microplastics detection system. The method was applied to analyze microplastics in both the soft tissue and the digestive tract of bivalves and fish collected from the markets in Qingdao and Dongying. The results showed that the individual detection rate of microplastics was higher in the fish than that in the bivalves and that the abundance of microplastics measured in items per individual was significantly higher in the fish than that in the bivalves. Four shapes of microplastics, including fibers, fragments, granules and films, were separated from the organisms above. Fibrous microplastics, being the most dominant ones, accounted for over 70% in different organisms. The average size of the fibrous microplastics was smaller than that of the other three shapes of microplastics. The number of microplastics decreased with increasing microplastics sizes. Microplastics of less than 1 mm obtained from different organisms were in the range of 43% to 78%. Rayon (a semi-synthetic polymer) was the most predominant polymer type of microplastics found, accounting for 48.92%. The demersal fish contained relatively more rayon compared with the pelagic fish samples. Surface chemical components of the microplastics were altered possibly owing to the abiotic oxidation. Large variations of the weathering morphologies were observed in the surface of the differently shaped microplastics originating from the organisms. Some microplastics exhibited a rough surface, broken margins, and pronounced pores. SEM-EDS, as an auxiliary technology, would provide a way for data calibration in microplastics investigation. The combination method can provide complementary data and therefore can be successfully applied to accurately identify microplastics.

and al., Analytical Methods, n°1, 2019

The article

First detection of plastic microfibers in a wild population of South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis) in the Chilean Northern Patagonia

The dramatic increase of microplastics (plastic fragments <5 mm) in marine environments is a problem that has attracted public attention globally. Within the different types of microplastics, microfibres are the least studied (size <1 mm). We examined 51 female scats from a population in Northern Patagonia. Our results showed no presence of microplastic particles, however 67% of them showed a remarkable abundance of microfibers, which until now had only been reported in animals fed in captivity. As a result of this work we propose that the examination of scats from South American Fur Seal and also other pinnipeds could be an efficient tool to monitor environmental levels of microfibres and maybe microplastics in the environment due to the easy recognition of the animals and their scats.

D.J. Perez-Venegas, M. Seguel, H. Pavés and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 136, November 2018, Pages 50-54

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Studies of the effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms: What do we know and where should we focus our efforts in the future?

The effects of microplastics (MP) on aquatic organisms are currently the subject of intense research. Here, we provide a critical perspective on published studies of MP ingestion by aquatic biota. We summarize the available research on MP presence, behaviour and effects on aquatic organisms monitored in the field and on laboratory studies of the ecotoxicological consequences of MP ingestion. We consider MP polymer type, shape, size as well as group of organisms studied and type of effect reported. Specifically, we evaluate whether or not the available laboratory studies of MP are representative of the types of MPs found in the environment and whether or not they have reported on relevant groups or organisms. Analysis of the available data revealed that 1) despite their widespread detection in field-based studies, polypropylene, polyester and polyamide particles were under-represented in laboratory studies; 2) fibres and fragments (800–1600 μm) are the most common form of MPs reported in animals collected from the field; 3) to date, most studies have been conducted on fish; knowledge is needed about the effects of MPs on other groups of organisms, especially invertebrates. Furthermore, there are significant mismatches between the types of MP most commonly found in the environment or reported in field studies and those used in laboratory experiments. Finally, there is an overarching need to understand the mechanism of action and ecotoxicological effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of MPs on aquatic organism health.

Luís Carlos de Sá, Miguel Oliveira, Francisca Ribeiro and al., Science of The Total Environment, Volume 645, 15 December 2018, Pages 1029-1039

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Effects of virgin microplastics on goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Microplastics (MPs) are abundant in freshwater and marine environments. They are diverse shape and size and are ingested by organisms. In this study, goldfish (Carassius auratus) were exposed via diet to three types of virgin MPs material types and shapes including fibers, fragments, and pellets. After six weeks of exposure, various sub-lethal effects, but no mortality, was observed. Fish exposed to plastic showed significant weight loss compared with the control. Fibers were found in the gills, gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and feces were not likely to accumulate in the GIT. Pronounced and severe alterations were found in the livers of fish exposed to fibers. The distal intestine showed more pronounced and severe changes compared to the proximal intestine, likely due to an intake of fibers. The ingestion of fibers caused the highest frequencies of progressive and inflammatory changes in the livers and intestines. This is in accordance with the higher organ index in these organs compared to other texa. Conversely, fragments and pellets were not ingested but chewed and expelled. Chewing process resulted in damages to the jaws as ranging from slight exfoliation to deep incisions. The highest frequency of regressive and circulatory (e.g., dilated sinusoids) changes was found in fish exposed to fragments, specifically in the upper and lower jaw, and in lower jaw and liver, respectively. Together, these results demonstrate that ingestion and chewing of MPs lead to damages in various organs and tissues of the gastrointestinal system, and suggest that different materials can have drastically different impacts on fish.

K. Jabeen, B. Li, Q. Chen and al., Chemosphere, Volume 213, December 2018, Pages 323-332

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Optimization, performance, and application of a pyrolysis-GC/MS method for the identification of microplastics

Plastics are found to be major debris composing marine litter; microplastics (MP, < 5 mm) are found in all marine compartments. The amount of MPs tends to increase with decreasing size leading to a potential misidentification when only visual identification is performed. These last years, pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) has been used to get information on the composition of polymers with some applications on MP identification. The purpose of this work was to optimize and then validate a Py-GC/MS method, determine limit of detection (LOD) for eight common polymers, and apply this method on environmental MP. Optimization on multiple GC parameters was carried out using polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS) microspheres. The optimized Py-GC/MS method require a pyrolysis temperature of 700 °C, a split ratio of 5 and 300 °C as injector temperature. Performance assessment was accomplished by performing repeatability and intermediate precision tests and calculating limit of detection (LOD) for common polymers. LODs were all below 1 μg. For performance assessment, identification remains accurate despite a decrease in signal over time. A comparison between identifications performed with Raman micro spectroscopy and with Py-GC/MS was assessed. Finally, the optimized method was applied to environmental samples, including plastics isolated from sea water surface, beach sediments, and organisms collected in the marine environment. The present method is complementary to μ-Raman spectroscopy as Py-GC/MS identified pigment containing particles as plastic. Moreover, some fibers and all particles from sediment and sea surface were identified as plastic.

Ludovic Hermabessiere, Charlotte Himber, Béatrice Boricaud, Maria Kazour, Rachid Amara, Anne-Laure Cassone, Michel Laurentie, Ika Paul-Pont, Philippe Soudant, Alexandre Dehaut, Guillaume Duflos, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, , Volume 410, Issue 25, pp 6663–6676

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