ECB-ART-49388Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 15;208:111665. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111665.
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Chemicals sorbed to environmental microplastics are toxic to early life stages of aquatic organisms.
Microplastics are ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems, but little information is currently available on the dangers and risks to living organisms. In order to assess the ecotoxicity of environmental microplastics (MPs), samples were collected from the beaches of two islands in the Guadeloupe archipelago, Petit-Bourg (PB) located on the main island of Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante (MG) on the second island of the archipelago. These samples have a similar polymer composition with mainly polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). However, these two samples are very dissimilar with regard to their contamination profile and their toxicity. MPs from MG contain more lead, cadmium and organochlorine compounds while those from PB have higher levels of copper, zinc and hydrocarbons. The leachates of these two samples of MPs induced sublethal effects on the growth of sea urchins and on the pulsation frequency of jellyfish ephyrae but not on the development of zebrafish embryos. The toxic effects are much more marked for samples from the PB site than those from the MG site. This work demonstrates that MPs can contain high levels of potentially bioavailable toxic substances that may represent a significant ecotoxicological risk, particularly for the early life stages of aquatic animals.
PubMed ID: 33396175
Article link: Ecotoxicol Environ Saf