Microplastics in waters and soils: Occurrence, analytical methods and ecotoxicological effects

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Mengjie WuHongyu Liu


Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous in the environment and more abundant in the marine environment. Consequently, increasing focus has been put on MPs in oceans and seas, while little importance has been attached to their presence in freshwaters and soils. Therefore, this paper aimed to provide a comprehensive review of the occurrence, analysis and ecotoxicology of MPs. The abundance and distribution of MPs in several typical freshwater systems of China were summarized. It suggested that the surface water of Poyang Lake contained the highest concentration of 34 items/L MPs among all the 8 freshwater systems, and the content of MPs in sediments were higher than that of the surface water. Net-based zooplankton sampling methods are the most frequently utilized sampling methods for MPs, and density separation, elutriation and digestion are three major pretreatment methods. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and pyrolysis-gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry are often used to identify the polymer types of MPs. Besides, MPs might damage the digestive tract of various organisms and negatively inhibit their growth, feeding and reproduction. The ways of human exposure to MPs are by ingestion, inhalatio...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

infrared spectroscopy
size exclusion chromatography

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