Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Purdue 3-D printing innovation capable of making stronger, lighter metal works for auto, aerospace industries November 20th, 2014

Leica Microsystems Presents Universal Hybrid Detector for Single Molecule Detection and Imaging at SfN and ASCB: Leica HyD SMD - the Optimal Detector for Precise and Reliable SMD data November 20th, 2014

Silver Nanoparticles Produced in Iran from Forest Plants Extract November 20th, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NRL Scientists Discover Novel Metamaterial Properties within Hexagonal Boron Nitride November 20th, 2014

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Arrowhead Files for Regulatory Permission to Begin Phase 1 Trial of RNAi Therapeutic ARC-AAT November 18th, 2014

Two sensors in one: Nanoparticles that enable both MRI and fluorescent imaging could monitor cancer, other diseases November 18th, 2014

Discoveries

UO-industry collaboration points to improved nanomaterials: University of Oregon microscope puts spotlight on the surface structure of quantum dots for designing new solar devices November 20th, 2014

Silver Nanoparticles Produced in Iran from Forest Plants Extract November 20th, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

NRL Scientists Discover Novel Metamaterial Properties within Hexagonal Boron Nitride November 20th, 2014

Announcements

Purdue 3-D printing innovation capable of making stronger, lighter metal works for auto, aerospace industries November 20th, 2014

Leica Microsystems Presents Universal Hybrid Detector for Single Molecule Detection and Imaging at SfN and ASCB: Leica HyD SMD - the Optimal Detector for Precise and Reliable SMD data November 20th, 2014

Silver Nanoparticles Produced in Iran from Forest Plants Extract November 20th, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Environment

Silver Nanoparticles Produced in Iran from Forest Plants Extract November 20th, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Application of Nanocomposites in Production of Photocatalysts for Water Treatment November 17th, 2014

BRAAVOO will design an unmanned surveying vessel and marine buoy that carry biosensors to monitor marine pollutants November 12th, 2014

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

A gut reaction November 19th, 2014

Nanosafety research – there’s room for improvement October 29th, 2014

Plastic nanoparticles also harm freshwater organisms October 18th, 2014

Human health, wealth require expanded marine science, experts say: In Rome, European experts publish a 'common vision' of priorities for marine research and action through 2020 October 9th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE