Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Discovery of nanotubes offers new clues about cell-to-cell communication July 2nd, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

Discoveries

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

Producing spin-entangled electrons July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

Announcements

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

Groundbreaking research to help control liquids at micro and nano scales July 3rd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

Environment

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

The peaks and valleys of silicon: Team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Researchers introduce new layered semiconducting materials as silicon alternative June 27th, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Proposed TSCA Nanomaterial Rule ‘Premature’, Says Former EPA Toxicologist July 1st, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors: Both outputs support the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative ‘Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment’ June 24th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

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