Occurrence, sources, human health impacts and mitigation of microplastic pollution

Author: Samaneh Karbalaei, Parichehr Hanachi, Tony R. Walker, Matthew Cole
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25(36): 36046–36063

Abstract:
The presence and accumulation of plastic and microplastic (MP) debris in the natural environment is of increasing concern and has become the focus of attention for many researchers. Plastic debris is a prolific, long-lived pollutant that is highly resistant to environmental degradation, readily adheres hydrophobic persistent organic pollutants and is linked to morbidity and mortality in numerous aquatic organisms. The prevalence of MPs within the natural environment is a symptom of continuous and rapid growth in synthetic plastic production and mismanagement of plastic waste. Many terrestrial and marine-based processes, including domestic and industrial drainage, maritime activities agricultural runoff and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) effluent, contribute to MP pollution in aquatic environments. MPs have been identified in food consumed by human and in air samples, and exposure to MPs via ingestion or inhalation could lead to adverse human health effects. Regulations in many countries have already been established or will soon be implemented to reduce MPs in aquatic environments. This review focuses on the occurrence, sources, and transport of MPs in terrestrial and aquatic environments to highlight potential human health effects, and applicable regulations to mitigate impacts of MPs. This study also highlights the importance of personality traits and cognitive ability in reducing the entry of MPs into the environment.

Keywords:
Microplastics, Microfibers, Marine freshwater and terrestrial microplastics, Controlling sources of microplastics

Citation:
Karbalaei, S., Hanachi, P., Walker, T.R., Cole, M., 2018. Occurrence, sources, human health impacts and mitigation of microplastic pollution. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25(36): 36046–36063. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s1135.

Link:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-018-3508-7

Sources and fate of microplastics in urban areas: A focus on Paris megacity

Author: Rachid Dris, Johnny Gasperi and Bruno Tassin
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Wagner M., Lambert S. (eds.). Freshwater Microplastics. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 58. Springer, Cham

Abstract:
Since the beginning of the 2010s, the number of investigations on microplastics in freshwater increased dramatically. However, almost no study aims at investigating the various sources and fate of microplastics in a catchment. This chapter aims at analyzing the various sources and fate of microplastics for an urban catchment and its hydrosystem (sewage, runoff, etc.). It presents the results obtained during a 3-year study of the Paris Megacity. Such a study required the development of appropriate sampling strategies for each compartment. It was highlighted that fibers are highly concentrated in the studied area, and therefore a focus in this category of microplastics was carried out. The atmospheric fallout exhibited important levels of fibers. However, at the scale of the Parisian agglomeration, wastewater treatment plant disposals and combined sewer overflows represent the major sources (number of fibers introduced per year) among the studied ones.

Keywords:
Fibers, Freshwater, Microplastics, Plastic pollution, Urban areas, Urban impact

Citation:
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Tassin, B., 2018c. Sources and fate of microplastics in urban areas: A focus on Paris megacity. In: Wagner M., Lambert S. (eds.). Freshwater Microplastics. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 58. Springer, Cham.

Link:
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-61615-5_4#citeas

Synthetic fibers in atmospheric fallout: A source of microplastics in the environment?

Author: Rachid Dris, Johnny Gasperi, Mohamed Saad, Cécile Mirande and Bruno Tassin
Year of Publication: 2016
Published: Marine Pollution Bulletin 104: 290–293

Abstract:
Sources, pathways and reservoirs of microplastics, plastic particles smaller than 5 mm, remain poorly documented in an urban context. While some studies pointed out wastewater treatment plants as a potential pathway of microplastics, none have focused on the atmospheric compartment. In this work, the atmospheric fallout of microplastics was investigated in two different urban and sub-urban sites. Microplastics were collected continuously with a stainless steel funnel. Samples were then filtered and observed with a stereomicroscope. Fibers accounted for almost all the microplastics collected. An atmospheric fallout between 2 and 355 particles/m²/day was highlighted. Registered fluxes were systematically higher at the urban than at the sub-urban site. Chemical characterization allowed to estimate at 29% the proportion of these fibers being all synthetic (made with petrochemicals), or a mixture of natural and synthetic material. Extrapolation using weight and volume estimates of the collected fibers, allowed a rough estimation showing that between 3 and 10 tons of fibers are deposited by atmospheric fallout at the scale of the Parisian agglomeration every year (2500 km²). These results could serve the scientific community working on the different sources of microplastic in both continental and marine environments.

Keywords:
Microplastics, Urban environment, Atmospheric fallout, Microplastic sources, Synthetic fibers

Citation:
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Saad, M., Mirande, C., Tassin, B., 2016. Synthetic fibers in atmospheric fallout: A source of microplastics in the environment? Marine Pollution Bulletin 104: 290–293.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X16300066

Synthetic and non-synthetic anthropogenic fibers in a river under the impact of Paris Megacity: Sampling methodological aspects and flux estimations

Author: Rachid Dris, Johnny Gasperi, Vincent Rocher and Bruno Tassin
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Science of the Total Environment 618: 157–164

Abstract:
Processed fibers are highly present in our daily life and can be either natural, artificial (regenerated cellulose) and synthetic (made with petrochemicals). Their widespread use lead inevitably to a high contamination of environment. Previous studies focus on plastic particles regardless of their type or shape as long as they are comprised between 330μm and 5mm. On the contrary, this study focuses exclusively on fibers using a smaller mesh size net (80μm) to sample freshwater. Moreover, all processed organic fibers are considered, irrespective to their nature. First, the short term temporal variability of the fibers in the environment was assessed. While exposing the sampling net during 1min a coefficient of variation of approx. 45% (with n=6) was determined. It was of only 26% (n=6) when the exposure was of 3min. The assessment of the distribution through the section showed a possible difference in concentrations between the middle of the water surface and the river banks which could be attributed to the intense river traffic within the Paris Megacity. The vertical variability seems negligible as turbulence and current conditions homogenize the distribution of the fibers. A monthly monitoring showed concentrations of 100.6±99.9fibers·m-3 in the Marne River and of: 48.5±98.5, 27.9±26.3, 27.9±40.3 and 22.1±25.3fibers·m-3 from the upstream to downstream points in the Seine River. Once these concentrations are converted into fluxes, it seems that the impact generated by the Paris Megacity cannot be distinguished. Investigations on the role of sedimentation and deposition on the banks are required. This study helped fill some major knowledge gaps regarding the fibers in rivers, their sampling, occurrence, spatial-temporal distribution and fluxes. It is encouraged that future studies include both synthetic and none synthetic fibers.

Keywords:
Fibers, Freshwater, Microplastic sampling, Microplastics, Synthetic fibers

Citation:
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Rocher, V., Tassin, B., 2018b. Synthetic and non-synthetic anthropogenic fibers in a river under the impact of Paris Megacity: Sampling methodological aspects and flux estimations. Science of the Total Environment 618: 157–164.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717330723?via%3Dihub

Microplastic contamination in the Seine River: Spatial and temporal variations of synthetic and non-synthetic fibers

Author: Rachid Dris, Johnny Gasperi, Vincent Rocher and Bruno Tassin
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Techniques - Sciences - Methodes 5: 45–53

Abstract:
Processed fibers are highly present in our daily life and can be either natural, artificial (regenerated cellulose) or synthetic (made with petrochemicals). Their widespread use leads to a high contamination of the environment. Previous studies focus on plastic particles regardless of their type or shape as long as they are smaller than 5 mm. On the contrary, this study focuses exclusively on fibers using a smaller mesh size net (80 μm) to sample freshwater. First, the short term temporal variability of the fibers in the environment was assessed. While exposing the sampling net during 1 minute, a coefficient of variation of approx. 45% (with n = 6) was determined. It was of only 26% (n = 6) when the exposure was of 3 minutes. The assessment of the distribution through the section showed a possible difference in concentrations between the middle of the water surface and the river banks which could be attributed to the intense river traffic within the Paris Megacity. The vertical variability seems negligible as turbulence and current conditions homogenize the distribution of the fibers. A monthly monitoring showed concentrations of 100.6 ± 99.9 fibers/m³ in the Marne River and of 48.5 ± 98.5, 27.9 ± 26.3, 27.9 ± 40.3 and 22.1 ± 25.3 fibers/m³ from the upstream to downstream points in the Seine River. Once these concentrations are converted into fluxes, it seems that the impact generated by the Paris Megacity cannot be distinguished. Investigations on the role of sedimentation and deposition on the banks are required. This study helped fill some major knowledge gaps regarding the fibers in rivers, their sampling, occurrence, spatial-temporal distribution and fluxes. It is encouraged that future studies include both synthetic and none synthetic fibers.

Keywords:
Fibers, Microplastics, Seine River, Paris Agglomeration, Plastics

Citation:
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Rocher, V., Tassin, B., 2018a. Microplastic contamination in the Seine River: Spatial and temporal variations of synthetic and non-synthetic fibers. Techniques – Sciences – Methodes 5: 45–53.

Link:
https://astee-tsm.fr/articles/tsm/abs/2018/04/tsm201805p45/tsm201805p45.html

A first overview of textile fibers, including microplastics, in indoor and outdoor environments

Author: Rachid Dris, Johnny Gasperi, Cécile Mirande, Corinne Mandin, Mohamed Guerrouache, Valérie Langlois and Bruno Tassin
Year of Publication: 2017
Published: Environmental Pollution 221: 453–458

Abstract:
Studies about microplastics in various environments highlighted the ubiquity of anthropogenic fibers. As a follow-up of a recent study that emphasized the presence of man-made fibers in atmospheric fallout, this study is the first one to investigate fibers in indoor and outdoor air. Three different indoor sites were considered: two private apartments and one office. In parallel, the outdoor air was sampled in one site. The deposition rate of the fibers and their concentration in settled dust collected from vacuum cleaner bags were also estimated. Overall, indoor concentrations ranged between 1.0 and 60.0 fibers/m³. Outdoor concentrations are significantly lower as they range between 0.3 and 1.5 fibers/m³. The deposition rate of the fibers in indoor environments is between 1586 and 11,130 fibers/day/m² leading to an accumulation of fibers in settled dust (190–670 fibers/mg). Regarding fiber type, 67% of the analyzed fibers in indoor environments are made of natural material, primarily cellulosic, while the remaining 33% fibers contain petrochemicals with polypropylene being predominant. Such fibers are observed in marine and continental studies dealing with microplastics. The observed fibers are supposedly too large to be inhaled but the exposure may occur through dust ingestion, particularly for young children.

Keywords:
Indoor air, Outdoor air, Microplastics, Dust, Synthetic fibers

Citation:
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Mirande, C., Mandin, C., Guerrouache, M., Langlois, V., Tassin, B., 2017. A first overview of textile fibers, including microplastics, in indoor and outdoor environments. Environmental Pollution 221: 453–458.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749116312325

Anthropogenic particles in the stomach contents and liver of the freshwater fish Squalius cephalus

Author: France Collard, Johnny Gasperi, Bernard Gilbert, Gauthier Eppe, Sam Azimi, Vincent Rocher and BrunoTassin
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Science of the Total Environment 643: 1257–1264

Abstract:
Anthropogenic particles (APs) are a very broad category of particles produced directly or indirectly by human activities. Their ingestion by biota is well studied in the marine environment. In contrast, studies on AP ingestion in wild freshwater organisms are scarce despite high contamination levels in some rivers and lakes. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the ingestion of APs and the possible occurrence of APs in the liver and muscle of a freshwater fish, Squalius cephalus, from the Parisian conurbation. After isolation, the particles were analyzed using Raman spectroscopy. In sixty stomachs, eighteen APs were found, half of which were plastics and the other half were dyed particles. Twenty-five percent of sampled individuals had ingested at least one AP. The mean length of the APs was 2.41 mm. No significant difference was found between the sites upstream and downstream of Paris. Additionally, 5% of sampled livers contained one or more APs, which were characterized as microplastics (MPs). No APs were found in the muscle tissue. The majority of APs isolated from stomach contents were fibers, which is similar to the findings of a previous river contamination study. This highlights that fish could be more exposed to fibers than previously thought and that more studies on the impacts of fiber ingestion are required. Despite their low occurrence, MPs are reported, for the first time, in the liver of a wild freshwater fish species. While the pathways and impacts are still unknown, MPs also occur in liver of marine mollusks and fish. Physiological in vitro studies are needed to better evaluate the impacts of such phenomena.

Keywords:
Microplastics, Fibers, Seine River, European chub, Muscle, Liver

Citation:
Collard, F., Gasperi, J., Gilbert, B., Eppe, G., Azimi, S., Rocher, V., Tassin, B., 2018. Anthropogenic particles in the stomach contents and liver of the freshwater fish Squalius cephalus. Science of the Total Environment 643: 1257–1264.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718323891

More Than a Potential Hazard – Approaching Risks from a Social-Ecological Perspective

Author: Carolin Völker, Johanna Kramm, Heide Kerber, Engelbert Schramm, Martina Winker and Martin Zimmermann
Year of Publication: 2017
Published: Sustainability. Special Issue “Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects” 9 (7), 1039

Abstract:
Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches do not sufficiently cover these interactions between society and nature. There have been several attempts to develop interdisciplinary approaches to risk that include natural as well as social science contributions. In this paper, the authors aim at developing a social-ecological perspective on risk by drawing on the concept of societal relations to nature and the model of provisioning systems. This perspective is used to analyze four cases, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, semicentralized water infrastructures and forest management, with regard to risk identification, assessment and management. Finally, the paper aims at developing a perspective on risks which takes into account non-intended side-effects, system interdependencies and uncertainty.

Keywords:
pharmaceuticals, microplastics, semicentralized water infrastructures, forest management, provisioning system, normal operation

Citation:
Völker, C.; Kramm, J.; Kerber, H.; Schramm, E.; Winker, M.; Zimmermann, M. (2017): More Than a Potential Hazard—Approaching Risks from a Social-Ecological Perspective. In: Sustainability. Special Issue “Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects”. 9 (7), 1039.

Link:
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a7dd/1d75f0d03eff1a8953d355fb7302cd423144.pdf

Plastikmüll im Meer: Zur Entdeckung eines Umweltproblems

Author: Johanna Kramm, Carolin Völker
Year of Publication: 2017
Published: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ) 51-52: 17-22

Abstract:
Es ist erst wenige Jahre her, dass mehrere Medien von der Entstehung eines „achten Kontinents“ berichteten. Dieser bestehe aus allerlei Unrat und Müll, vor allem Plastikmüll, der sich durch die Meeresströmung im Nordpazifik gesammelt habe. Die Vorstellung eines neuen Kontinents beflügelte einige zunächst: Niederländische Architekten entwickelten Visionen, den Plastikmüll einzusammeln, um neuen Wohnraum auf einer Insel aus recyceltem Material zu gewinnen. Und der junge Erfinder Boyan Slat entwarf eine Art marine Plastikmüllauffanganlage, die er durch Crowdfunding finanzierte. Inzwischen ist bekannt, dass das Plastik im Nordpazifik keine tragende, kontinentartige Fläche bildet, sondern eher eine “Plastiksuppe”. Wegen der Strömungen sammelt sich darin vor allem sogenanntes Mikroplastik, das entweder durch den Zerfall von Plastikmüll entstanden ist oder bei dem es sich um verlorengegangenes Plastikgranulat handelt. Dieses aus dem Meer herauszuholen, wird als zu aufwendig und kostspielig angesehen. Zudem würden durch die Filtration auch kleine, für die Meeresökologie wichtige Lebewesen herausgefischt.

Keywords:
plastic litter, sea, microplastics

Citation:
Kramm, J.; Völker, C. (2017): Plastikmüll im Meer. Zur Entdeckung eines Umweltproblems. In: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ) 51-52: 17-22.

Link:
http://www.bpb.de/apuz/261373/plastikmuell-im-meer-zur-entdeckung-eines-umweltproblems?p=all

Superficial or Substantial: Why Care about Microplastics in the Anthropocene?

Author: Kramm, J.; Völker, C.; Wagner, M.
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Environmntal Science and Technology 52 (6), 3336–3337

Abstract:
In his recent Viewpoint, G. Allen Burton asks why “fellow scientists continue to focus on superficial microplastics risks” as “low exposure concentrations dictate there could be no risk”. He criticizes that scientists overstate the risks of microplastics, misinform the public, and “adversely influence” policy making. While we understand Burton’s frustration with at times sensationalist media reports on microplastics, we also agree with Hale that Burton’s risk assessment is premature. However, the current discourse reveals a much more fundamental issue, namely, that the disciplines of environmentaltoxicology and chemistry have yet to find their role inthe Anthropocene. The recent microbead bans are illuminatingfor this challenge: societies have decided to take action on anenvironmental “threat” before a scientific consensus on itsrelevance has evolved. We can either bemoan this as beingmisinformed or critically reflect on why our disciplines had littlesay in it. We do the latter and respond 3-fold to Burton’s “Why care?” question.

Keywords:
microplastics, environmental toxicology and chemistry, science, society, scientific opinion

Citation:
Kramm, J.; Völker, C.; Wagner, M. (2018): Superficial or Substantial: Why Care about Microplastics in the Anthropocene? In: Environmental Science and Technology 52 (6), 3336–3337

Link:
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/acs.est.8b00790