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Resolving the effects of environmental micro- and nanoplastics exposure in biota: a knowledge gap analysis

Thomas, Philippe J.; Perono, Genevieve; Tommasi, Franca; Pagano, Giovanni; Oral, Rahime; Burić, Petra; Kovačić, Ines; Toscanesi, Maria; Trifuoggi, Marco; Lyons, Daniel Mark (2021) Resolving the effects of environmental micro- and nanoplastics exposure in biota: a knowledge gap analysis. Science of the total environment, 780 . ISSN 0048-9697

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The pervasive spread of microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) has raised significant concerns on their toxicity in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. These polymer-based materials have implications for plants, wildlife and human health, threatening food chain integrity and ultimate ecosystem resilience. An extensive – and growing – body of literature is available on MP- and NP-associated effects, including in a number of aquatic biota, with as yet limited reports in terrestrial environments. Effects range from no detectable, or very low level, biological effects to more severe outcomes such as (but not limited to) increased mortality rates, altered immune and inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, genetic damage and dysmetabolic changes. A well-established exposure route to MPs and NPs involves ingestion with subsequent incorporation into tissues. MP and NP exposures have also been found to lead to genetic damage, including effects related to mitotic anomalies, or to transmissible damage from sperm cells to their offspring, especially in echinoderms. Effects on the proteome, transcriptome and metabolome warrant ad hoc investigations as these integrated “omics” workflows could provide greater insight into molecular pathways of effect. Given their different physical structures, chemical identity and presumably different modes of action, exposure to different types of MPs and NPs may result in different biological effects in biota, thus comparative investigations of different MPs and NPs are required to ascertain the respective effects. Furthermore, research on MP and NP should also consider their ability to act as vectors for other toxicants, and possible outcomes of exposure may even include effects at the community level, thus requiring investigations in mesocosm models.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microparticle ; Nanoparticle ; Polymer ; Toxicity ; Dysmetabolic ; Stress
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Chemistry
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
Divisions: Center for Marine Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Određivanje fizikalno-kemijskih svojstava i toksičnosti nanočestica srebra, bakra i plastike kao potencijalno štetnih novih materijala u obalnim vodamaLyons, Daniel MarkIP-2018-01-5351HRZZ
Depositing User: Daniel Mark Lyons
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2022 14:02
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146534

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