Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Invisible plastic particles in seawater damaging to sea animals

Abstract:
The presence of ‘plastic soup' in the oceans is regarded as a big problem. Tiny plastic particles enter the sea when plastic debris decomposes. Such particles are probably also released from cosmetics and from clothes in the wash, subsequently entering the sewage system and surface waters and eventually reaching the sea.

Invisible plastic particles in seawater damaging to sea animals

Wageningen, Netherlands | Posted on September 21st, 2012

The EU and the Dutch government recognise the problem and the need to monitor the existence of plastics in the seas in order to learn more about present and future concentrations of plastic micro- and nanoparticles in marine environments. Very little is known about the effects plastic nanoparticles have on sea life. The effects now discovered do not yet prove that plastic in the North Sea is a big problem, but they do suggest that further research is extremely important, the researchers remark.

Professor Bart Koelmans' research team, from Wageningen University and IMARES, exposed mussels to various concentrations of nanoplastic in order to discover the concentration at which an effect was noticeable. The team also varied the quantity of algae - the normal food source for mussels. By giving the plastic nanoparticles colour, and by measuring them using dynamic light scattering, it was possible to determine the particle concentration that exerted an effect. The researchers described in their publication that the extent to which the tiny plastic particles clump together is also extremely important for understanding particle uptake and the resulting effects in marine organisms. "It means that those effects are not easy to predict because the biological availability of the particles can differ enormously from one organism to another, and because variation in water quality also plays a role", says Prof. Koelmans.

Four research studies

This publication is the first of four by Wageningen University and IMARES into the effects of plastic in the North Sea. The other studies will be published in the near future. The first of these is research into the effect of plastic on lugworms, which lose weight due to uptake of plastic particles. The worms, as a result, take in more toxic substances such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which bind to plastics.

The researchers believe this indicates the need for good research into other toxic substances that bind to plastic - an additional consequence of the presence of microplastics. In order to analyse the interaction of plastic and other toxic substances in the food web, Koelmans' group has made a detailed computer model. This type of model is crucial for estimating the risks plastics impose in the sea. The last piece of research is into plastic debris in the stomachs of fish. An analysis of hundreds of fish has shown that 12% of them have debris in their stomachs. Around half of that debris is plastic.

####

About Wageningen University and Research Centre
Wageningen University and Research Centre is an internationally leading knowledge institution, making essential contributions to the quality of life with pioneering research and innovative teaching programmes in the areas of nutrition and health, sustainable agrosystems, a viable environment and processes of social change.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jac Niessen
+31 317 485003

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Wegner, A., E. Besseling, E.M. Foekema, P. Kamermans, A.A. Koelmans. 2012. Effects of Nanopolystyrene on the Feeding Behaviour of the Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis L.). Environ. Toxicol. Chem. Published online:

Related News Press

News and information

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Engineers pioneer platinum shell formation process – and achieve first-ever observation August 11th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Discoveries

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Fewer defects from a 2-D approach August 15th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Announcements

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Environment

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

New approach on research and design for CQD catalysts in World Scientific NANO August 2nd, 2017

Magnetized viruses attack harmful bacteria: Rice, China team uses phage-enhanced nanoparticles to kill bacteria that foul water treatment systems August 2nd, 2017

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs January 17th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project