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The role of microplastics size and type on PAH sorption and bioavailability to copepods

The role of microplastics size and type on PAH sorption and bioavailability to copepods

Category
Conference lecture and academic presentation
Abstract
It has been proposed that microplastic (MP) may act as a vector for a wide range of chemical pollutants already present in the environment. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous pollutants in the environment, known to cause adverse effects to a variety of marine organisms. Most PAHs have relatively high polymer-water partition coefficients, meaning their potential for sorption to, and transport by, MPs is high. In both field and laboratory studies, a broad range of marine species have been shown to ingest significant quantities of MP, with extended periods of retention observed in some cases. If PAHs are adsorbed to the MPs, this could present an alternative exposure route to PAHs for such species. However, the effect of MP sorption on PAH bioavailability in the marine environment remains poorly understood. Although several studies have attempted to study bioavailability of MP-adsorbed PAHs to aquatic organisms, most studies employ approaches that are unable to accurately determine if PAH bioavailability results from adsorbed compounds or from compounds that have dissolved from the MPs into the exposure media. Here, we investigate the sorption kinetics and present adsorption isotherms for three model PAHs (fluoranthene, phenanthrene and 1,3-dimethylnaphtalene) to a range of different MP's in natural seawater. The selected PAHs exhibit different sizes and hydrophobicities, thus having varying seawater solubility (two orders of magnitude). In the case of the least soluble compound, fluoranthene, MP sorption could prove an important route of uptake in pelagic organisms. To account for the natural variability of MPs present in the marine environment, test materials with different sizes, shape (particles, fibres) and polymer compositions (polyethylene and polystyrene microbeads, polyester microfibres) were used. Using a novel approach, the influence of MP sorption on PAH bioavailability to two marine copepod species (Acartia tonsa and Calanus finmarchicus) was investigated using polyethylene particles with size ranges above and below the ingestion limit for the two species. The range of MP diameters used in the experiments was ~10-300 µm. Chemical body burden was measured after exposure to determine bioavailability.
Client
  • Norges forskningsråd / 257479
Language
English
Author(s)
Affiliation
  • SINTEF Ocean / Miljø og nye ressurser
Presented at
SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting
Place
Rome
Date
12.05.2018 - 16.05.2018
Organizer
SETAC
Year
2018