The ubiquitous presence of microplastics in the environment has drawn the attention of ecotoxicologists on its safety and toxicity. Sources of microplastics in the environment include disintegration of larger plastic items (secondary microplastics), personal care products like liquid soap, exfoliating scrubbers, and cleaning supplies etc. Indiscriminate usage of plastics and its poor waste disposal management pose serious concern on ecosystem quality at global level. The present review focused on the ecological impact of microplastics on biota at different trophic levels, its uptake, accumulation, and excretion etc., and its plausible mechanistic toxicity with risk assessment approaches. Existing scientific evidence shows that microplastics exposure triggers a wide variety of toxic insult from feeding disruption to reproductive performance, physical ingestion, disturbances in energy metabolism, changes in liver physiology, synergistic and/ or antagonistic action of other hydrophobic organic contaminants etc. from lower to higher trophics. Thus, microplastic accumulation and its associated adverse effects make it mandatory to go in for risk assessment and legislative action. Subsequent research priorities, agenda, and key issues to be addressed are also acknowledged in the present review.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 21, 2018
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