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Microplastics in the Marine Environment, Freshwater and Sewage Sludge: Occurrence and Biological Impact on Aquatic Organisms

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 16190

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, Viale F. Stagno d’Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina, Italy
Interests: aquatic ecotoxicology; environmental health assessment; embryotoxicity; cytotoxicity; biomarkers; bivalves; fish; micro- and nanoplastics; environmental pollutants; metabolomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Laboratory of Agrobiodiversity and Ecotoxicology LR02AGR21, Higher Institute of Agronomy, University of Sousse, 4042 Sousse, Tunisia
2. Higher Institute of Biotechnology, Monastir, Tunisia
Interests: environmental transcriptomic; environmental risk assessment; emergent contaminants (i.e., micro/nanoplastics); biomonitoring strategies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plastics have achieved a crucial status in modern society, with extensive use in a myriad of applications because of their favorable properties. Despite the undeniable societal advantages of plastics, and because of their large production and widespread daily consumption, associated with often-inadequate collection and recycling systems, plastics have become a growing global concern due to their ubiquitous persistence and bioavailability in aquatic biota as microplastics, and nanoplastics. Though in recent decades, the scientific community has largely focused on the occurrence of microplastics in aquatic environments, the body of knowledge regarding the accumulation and biological effects of environmental microplastics is still significantly limited compared to that on manufactured microplastics.Moreover, there are still several aspects that need deeper investigation, such as the release of additives from microplastics, interactions between microplastics and environmental pollutants, as well as their transfer through different trophic levels following ingestion, with serious implications for predators, including humans.

Therefore, this Special Issue welcomes any novel exciting research on microplastics occurrence in aquatic environments, with a special focus on the impact they might have on the ecosystem and biota, including their transfer through the food web and possible implications for human health. Studies exploring innovative methodologies for the characterization and quantification of microplastics in environmental matrices and biota, as well as for their elimination or for the mitigation of their harmfulness, or focusing on natural biodegradable materials that can replace plastics, are also welcome.

Dr. Tiziana Cappello
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Banni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • microplastics
  • nanoplastics
  • bioplastics
  • microplastic-adsorbed contaminants
  • aquatic organisms
  • transfer through the food web
  • analytic techniques
  • environmental risk assessment
  • ecosystem and human health
  • biomarkers and -omics approaches

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 2121 KiB  
Article
Microplastics in Sediments of East Surabaya, Indonesia: Regional Characteristics and Potential Risks
by Achmad Chusnun Ni’am, Fahir Hassan, Ruei-Feng Shiu and Jheng-Jie Jiang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912348 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2346
Abstract
The presence of microplastics (MPs) in marine environments has become increasingly apparent. Owing to the lack of effective solid waste management, Indonesia is the second largest producer of ocean plastic waste after China. Currently, information about pollution of MPs in the sediments of [...] Read more.
The presence of microplastics (MPs) in marine environments has become increasingly apparent. Owing to the lack of effective solid waste management, Indonesia is the second largest producer of ocean plastic waste after China. Currently, information about pollution of MPs in the sediments of East Surabaya, Indonesia, is not available, and this issue is addressed in this study for the first time. Sediment samples were collected from 16 sampling sites along urban and mangrove coastal areas. MPs were observed in most of the sampling sites, with abundances ranging from ND (not detected) to 598 items/kg. MP shapes constituted fragments (30%), foam (28%), granules (22%), and fibers (20%). The 500–1000 µm fraction was the dominant size of MPs. Polypropylene was the major polymer constituent, followed by high-density polyethylene and polyethylene. Findings from Spearman’s correlation coefficients, principal component analysis, and hierarchical cluster analysis reveal that the spatial pattern of MPs is closely related to coastal characteristics and population density. MPs in different coastal regions were assessed by the polymer risk index. Results reveal that coastal areas in the Bulak district exhibit the highest risk. Our results confirm the prevalence of MPs as anthropogenic pollutants in East Surabaya and highlight the importance of management action and education on environmental protection for the mitigation of MP pollution. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 1786 KiB  
Review
Hemocytes: A Useful Tool for Assessing the Toxicity of Microplastics, Heavy Metals, and Pesticides on Aquatic Invertebrates
by Federica Impellitteri, Alexandrina-Stefania Curpăn, Gabriel Plăvan, Alin Ciobica and Caterina Faggio
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416830 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 2953
Abstract
Invertebrates have long been an important tool for assessing water pollution due to their characteristics as intermediate consumers in aquatic ecosystem food chains. Most of the time, the effects of contaminants are measured by their effect on oxidative status or by mortality, although [...] Read more.
Invertebrates have long been an important tool for assessing water pollution due to their characteristics as intermediate consumers in aquatic ecosystem food chains. Most of the time, the effects of contaminants are measured by their effect on oxidative status or by mortality, although there already exists an easier tool—hemocytes. Hemocytes are circulating cells with a very important role in the immune system of invertebrates, which can be found within the hemolymph, analogous to the blood in vertebrates. The collection of hemolymph samples is easy, fast, minimally invasive, and poses no danger to the life of invertebrates. The purpose of this review was to highlight the advantages of using hemolymph for toxicity assays of various substances, including heavy metals, micro- and nano-plastics, pesticides, hydrocarbons, and oil spills. A literature search was conducted for this purpose using the most common and most often used databases, with a focus on the most recent and relevant studies. Bivalve mollusks, crustaceans, and gastropods were chosen for this investigation. This review found a growing number of studies choosing to use hemolymph as the standard methodology for toxicology assays, confirming their qualities as reliable tools. Full article
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20 pages, 9250 KiB  
Review
The Occurrence of Microplastics and the Formation of Biofilms by Pathogenic and Opportunistic Bacteria as Threats in Aquaculture
by Paulina Cholewińska, Hanna Moniuszko, Konrad Wojnarowski, Przemysław Pokorny, Natalia Szeligowska, Wojciech Dobicki, Ryszard Polechoński and Wanda Górniak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138137 - 2 Jul 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4986
Abstract
Aquaculture is the most rapidly growing branch of animal production. The efficiency and quality of the produced food depends on sustainable management, water quality, feed prices and the incidence of diseases. Micro- (MP < 5 mm) and nanoplastic (NP < 1000 nm) particles [...] Read more.
Aquaculture is the most rapidly growing branch of animal production. The efficiency and quality of the produced food depends on sustainable management, water quality, feed prices and the incidence of diseases. Micro- (MP < 5 mm) and nanoplastic (NP < 1000 nm) particles are among the current factors causing serious water pollution. This substance comes solely from products manufactured by humans. MP particles migrate from the terrestrial to the aquatic environment and adversely affect, especially, the health of animals and humans by being a favorable habitat and vector for microbial pathogens and opportunists. More than 30 taxa of pathogens of humans, aquacutural animals and plants, along with opportunistic bacteria, have been detected in plastic-covering biofilm to date. The mobility and durability of the substance, combined with the relatively closed conditions in aquacultural habitats and pathogens’ affinity to the material, make plastic particles a microbiological medium threatening the industry of aquaculture. For this reason, in addition to the fact of plastic accumulation in living organisms, urgent measures should be taken to reduce its influx into the environment. The phenomenon and its implications are related to the concept of one health, wherein the environment, animals and humans affect each other’s fitness. Full article
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15 pages, 3781 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Migration and Transformation of Microplastics in Inland Water Systems
by Yamei Cai, Chen Li and Yaqian Zhao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010148 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4971
Abstract
Plastic productions continue to grow, and improper management of plastic wastes has raised increasing concerns. This reflects the need to explore the microplastics in water bodies. Microplastics have been regarded as emerging pollutants in water systems. In recent years, large numbers of studies [...] Read more.
Plastic productions continue to grow, and improper management of plastic wastes has raised increasing concerns. This reflects the need to explore the microplastics in water bodies. Microplastics have been regarded as emerging pollutants in water systems. In recent years, large numbers of studies across the world were conducted to investigate the distribution, behavior and the integrated impacts of microplastics in both the marine environment and the freshwater environment. Compared with the marine environment, the migration and transformation of microplastics in inland water systems seem more informative as they may reach the marine environment as one of their final destinations. Based on the updated literature, this review aims at overviewing the migration and transformation processes/behavior of microplastics in rivers, lakes and reservoirs. As for the migration, the microplastics’ fate is from manufacturing, consuming, discarding to migrating and returning to the human society which could form a closed though complicated circle. For transformation, microplastics experience five stages of their fate in inland water systems. These include changing into suspending pieces; ending up deposited as the sediment; resuspending under various changing conditions; ending up via burying into the soil as the part of the riverbed; reaching the marine environment; and being ingested by organisms and also becoming entangled with aquatic plants, etc. It is highly expected that this review can provide a valuable reference for better understanding microplastics’ migration and transformation mechanisms and a guide for the future study of microplastics in an inland water environment. Full article
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