Search results for: nanoplastics
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: nanoplastics

6 The Impact of COVID-19 Waste on Aquatic Organisms: Nano/microplastics and Molnupiravir in Salmo trutta Embryos and Lervae

Authors: Živilė Jurgelėnė, Vitalijus Karabanovas, Augustas Morkvėnas, Reda Dzingelevičienė, Nerijus Dzingelevičius, Saulius Raugelė, Boguslaw Buszewski


The short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir and micro/nanoplastics on the early development of Salmo trutta were investigated using accumulation and exposure studies. Salmo trutta were used as standardized test organisms in toxicity studies of COVID-19 waste contaminants. The 2D/3D imaging was performed using confocal fluorescence spectral imaging microscopy to assess the uptake, bioaccumulation, and distribution of molnupiravir and micro/nanoplastics complex in live fish. Our study results demonstrated that molnupiravir may interact with a micro/nanoplastics and modify their spectroscopic parameters and toxicity to S. trutta embryos and larvae. The 0.2 µm size microplastics at a concentration of 10 mg/L were found to be stable in aqueous media than 0.02 µm, and 2 µm sizes polymeric particles. This study demonstrated that polymeric particles can adsorb molnupiravir that are present in mixtures and modify the accumulation of molnupiravir in Salmo trutta embryos and larvae. In addition, 2D/3D confocal fluorescence imaging showed that the single polymeric particle hardly accumulates and couldn't penetrate outer tissues of the tested organism. However, co-exposure micro/nanoplastics and molnupiravir could significantly enhance the polymeric particles capability of accumulating on surface tissues and penetrating surface tissue of fish in early development. Exposure to molnupiravir at 2 g/L concentration and co-exposure to micro/nanoplastics and molnupiravir did not bring about survival changes in in the early stages of Salmo trutta development, but we observed the reduction in heart rate and decrease in gill ventilation. The statistical analysis confirmed that micro/nanoplastics used in combination with molnupiravir enhance the toxicity of the latter micro/nanoplastics to embryos and larvae. This research has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (project No 13.1.1-LMT-K-718-05-0014) under a grant agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT), and it was funded as part of the European Union’s measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: fish, micro/nanoplastics, molnupiravir, toxicity

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5 The Triple Threat: Microplastic, Nanoplastic, and Macroplastic Pollution and Their Cumulative Impacts on Marine Ecosystem

Authors: Tabugbo B. Ifeyinwa, Josephat O. Ogbuagu, Okeke A. Princewill, Victor C. Eze


The increasing amount of plastic pollution in maritime settings poses a substantial risk to the functioning of ecosystems and the preservation of biodiversity. This comprehensive analysis combines the most recent data on the environmental effects of pollution from macroplastics, microplastics, and nanoplastics within marine ecosystems. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the cumulative impacts that plastic waste accumulates on marine life by outlining the origins, processes, and ecological repercussions connected with each size category of plastic debris. Microplastics and nanoplastics have more sneaky effects that are controlled by chemicals. These effects can get through biological barriers and affect the health of cells and the whole body. Compared to macroplastics, which primarily contribute to physical harm through entanglement and ingestion by marine fauna, microplastics, and nanoplastics are associated with non-physical effects. The review underlines a vital need for research that crosses disciplinary boundaries to untangle the intricate interactions that the various sizes of plastic pollution have with marine animals, evaluate the long-term ecological repercussions, and identify effective measures for mitigating the effects of plastic pollution. Additionally, we urge governmental interventions and worldwide cooperation to solve this pervasive environmental concern. Specifically, we identify significant knowledge gaps in the detection and effect assessment of nanoplastics. To protect marine biodiversity and preserve ecosystem services, this review highlights how urgent it is to address the broad spectrum of plastic pollution.

Keywords: macroplastic pollution, marine ecosystem, microplastic pollution, nanoplastic pollution

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4 Assessing the Mass Concentration of Microplastics and Nanoplastics in Wastewater Treatment Plants by Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography−Mass Spectrometry

Authors: Yanghui Xu, Qin Ou, Xintu Wang, Feng Hou, Peng Li, Jan Peter van der Hoek, Gang Liu


The level and removal of microplastics (MPs) in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has been well evaluated by the particle number, while the mass concentration of MPs and especially nanoplastics (NPs) remains unclear. In this study, microfiltration, ultrafiltration and hydrogen peroxide digestion were used to extract MPs and NPs with different size ranges (0.01−1, 1−50, and 50−1000 μm) across the whole treatment schemes in two WWTPs. By identifying specific pyrolysis products, pyrolysis gas chromatography−mass spectrometry were used to quantify their mass concentrations of selected six types of polymers (i.e., polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polyamide (PA)). The mass concentrations of total MPs and NPs decreased from 26.23 and 11.28 μg/L in the influent to 1.75 and 0.71 μg/L in the effluent, with removal rates of 93.3 and 93.7% in plants A and B, respectively. Among them, PP, PET and PE were the dominant polymer types in wastewater, while PMMA, PS and PA only accounted for a small part. The mass concentrations of NPs (0.01−1 μm) were much lower than those of MPs (>1 μm), accounting for 12.0−17.9 and 5.6− 19.5% of the total MPs and NPs, respectively. Notably, the removal efficiency differed with the polymer type and size range. The low-density MPs (e.g., PP and PE) had lower removal efficiency than high-density PET in both plants. Since particles with smaller size could pass the tertiary sand filter or membrane filter more easily, the removal efficiency of NPs was lower than that of MPs with larger particle size. Based on annual wastewater effluent discharge, it is estimated that about 0.321 and 0.052 tons of MPs and NPs were released into the river each year. Overall, this study investigated the mass concentration of MPs and NPs with a wide size range of 0.01−1000 μm in wastewater, which provided valuable information regarding the pollution level and distribution characteristics of MPs, especially NPs, in WWTPs. However, there are limitations and uncertainties in the current study, especially regarding the sample collection and MP/NP detection. The used plastic items (e.g., sampling buckets, ultrafiltration membranes, centrifugal tubes, and pipette tips) may introduce potential contamination. Additionally, the proposed method caused loss of MPs, especially NPs, which can lead to underestimation of MPs/NPs. Further studies are recommended to address these challenges about MPs/NPs in wastewater.

Keywords: microplastics, nanoplastics, mass concentration, WWTPs, Py-GC/MS

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3 Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Photoaging Pathways of Ultrafine Plastic Particles under UV Irradiation

Authors: Jiajun Duan, Yang Li, Jianan Gao, Runzi Cao, Enxiang Shang, Wen Zhang


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is considered as an important photoaging mechanism of microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs). To elucidate the ROS-induced MP/NP aging processes in water under UV365 irradiation, we examined the effects of surface coatings, polymer types, and grain sizes on ROS generation and photoaging intermediates. Bare polystyrene (PS) NPs generated hydroxyl radicals (•OH) and singlet oxygen (¹O₂), while coated PS NPs (carboxyl-modified PS (PS-COOH), amino-modified PS (PS-NH₂)) and PS MPs generated fewer ROS due to coating scavenging or size effects. Polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, and polycarbonate MPs only generated •OH. For aromatic polymers, •OH addition preferentially occurred at benzene rings to form monohydroxy polymers. Excess •OH resulted in H abstraction, C-C scission, and phenyl ring opening to generate aliphatic ketones, esters, aldehydes, and aromatic ketones. For coated PS NPs, •OH preferentially attacked the surface coatings to result in decarboxylation and deamination reactions. For aliphatic polymers, •OH attack resulted in the formation of carbonyl groups from peracid, aldehyde, or ketone via H abstraction and C-C scission. Moreover, ¹O₂ might participate in phenyl ring opening for PS NPs and coating degradation for coated PS NPs. This study facilitates understanding the ROS-induced weathering process of NPs/MPs in water under UV irradiation.

Keywords: microplastics, nanoplastics, photoaging, reactive oxygen species, surface coating

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2 Secondary True to Life Polyethylene Terephthalate Nanoplastics: Obtention, Characterization, and Hazard Evaluation

Authors: Aliro Villacorta, Laura Rubio, Mohamed Alaraby, Montserrat López Mesas, Victor Fuentes-Cebrian, Oscar H. Moriones, Ricard Marcos, Alba Hernández.


Micro and nano plastics (MNPLs) are emergent environmental pollutants requiring urgent information on their potential risks to human health. One of the problems associated with the evaluation of their undesirable effects is the lack of real samples matching those resulting from the environmental degradation of plastic wastes. To such end, we propose an easy method to obtain polyethylene terephthalate nano plastics from water plastic bottles (PET-NPLs) but, in principle, applicable to any other plastic goods sources. An extensive characterization indicates that the proposed process produces uniform samples of PET-NPLs of around 100 nm, as determined by using a multi-angle and dynamic light scattering methodology. An important point to be highlighted is that to avoid the metal contamination resulting from methods using metal blades/burrs for milling, trituration, or sanding, we propose to use diamond burrs to produce metal-free samples. To visualize the toxicological profile of the produced PET-NPLs, we have evaluated their ability to be internalized by cells, their cytotoxicity, and their ability to induce oxidative stress and induce DNA damage. In this preliminary approach, we have detected their cellular uptake, but without the induction of significant biological effects. Thus, no relevant increases in toxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) induction, or DNA damage -as detected with the comet assay- have been observed. The use of real samples, as produced in this study, will generate relevant data in the discussion about the potential health risks associated with MNPLs exposures.

Keywords: nanoplastics, polyethylene terephthalate, physicochemical characterization, cell uptake, cytotoxicity

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1 In Vitro Intestine Tissue Model to Study the Impact of Plastic Particles

Authors: Ashleigh Williams


Micro- and nanoplastics’ (MNLPs) omnipresence and ecological accumulation is evident when surveying recent environmental impact studies. For example, in 2014 it was estimated that at least 52.3 trillion plastic microparticles are floating at sea, and scientists have even found plastics present remote Arctic ice and snow (5,6). Plastics have even found their way into precipitation, with more than 1000 tons of microplastic rain precipitating onto the Western United States in 2020. Even more recent studies evaluating the chemical safety of reusable plastic bottles found that hundreds of chemicals leached into the control liquid in the bottle (ddH2O, ph = 7) during a 24-hour time period. A consequence of the increased abundance in plastic waste in the air, land, and water every year is the bioaccumulation of MNLPs in ecosystems and trophic niches of the animal food chain, which could potentially cause increased direct and indirect exposure of humans to MNLPs via inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. Though the detrimental, toxic effects of MNLPs have been established in marine biota, much less is known about the potentially hazardous health effects of chronic MNLP ingestion in humans. Recent data indicate that long-term exposure to MNLPs could cause possible inflammatory and dysbiotic effects. However, toxicity seems to be largely dose-, as well as size-dependent. In addition, the transcytotic uptake of MNLPs through the intestinal epithelia in humans remain relatively unknown. To this point, the goal of the current study was to investigate the mechanisms of micro- and nanoplastic uptake and transcytosis of Polystyrene (PE) in human stem-cell derived, physiologically relevant in vitro intestinal model systems, and to compare the relative effect of particle size (30 nm, 100 nm, 500 nm and 1 µm), and concentration (0 µg/mL, 250 µg/mL, 500 µg/mL, 1000 µg/mL) on polystyrene MNLP uptake, transcytosis and intestinal epithelial model integrity. Observational and quantitative data obtained from confocal microscopy, immunostaining, transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements, cryosectioning, and ELISA cytokine assays of the proinflammatory cytokines Interleukin-6 and Interleukin-8 were used to evaluate the localization and transcytosis of polystyrene MNPs and its impact on epithelial integrity in human-derived intestinal in vitro model systems. The effect of Microfold (M) cell induction on polystyrene micro- and nanoparticle (MNP) uptake, transcytosis, and potential inflammation was also assessed and compared to samples grown under standard conditions. Microfold (M) cells, link the human intestinal system to the immune system and are the primary cells in the epithelium responsible for sampling and transporting foreign matter of interest from the lumen of the gut to underlying immune cells. Given the uptake capabilities of Microfold cells to interact both specifically and nonspecific to abiotic and biotic materials, it was expected that M- cell induced in vitro samples would have increased binding, localization, and potentially transcytosis of Polystyrene MNLPs across the epithelial barrier. Experimental results of this study would not only help in the evaluation of the plastic toxicity, but would allow for more detailed modeling of gut inflammation and the intestinal immune system.

Keywords: nanoplastics, enteroids, intestinal barrier, tissue engineering, microfold (M) cells

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