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Review

Investigating the Human Impacts and the Environmental Consequences of Microplastics Disposal into Water Resources

1
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
2
School of Science and Technology, Hellenic Open University, Parodos Aristotelous 18, 26335 Patras, Greece
3
Sector of Industrial Management and Operational Research, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou Street, 15780 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zachary A. Smith
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020828
Received: 16 November 2021 / Revised: 1 January 2022 / Accepted: 10 January 2022 / Published: 12 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Waste Management)
During the last decades, one of the most contentious environmental issues has been the investigation of the fate of microplastics (MPs) and detrimental consequences in natural and water resources worldwide. In this respect, it is critical research firstly to track the ways in which MPs are determined as key anthropogenic pollutants in terms of ecological risk and secondly to plan feasible policies under which the role of science and society in tackling this global issue in the future should be prioritized. In this study, a systematic theoretical, technical, and planning analysis was developed in alignment with a Scopus search deployed in the second half of the year 2021 and covering a wide chronological range (from 1970s onwards) and thematic contexts of analysis by using keywords and key phrases organized into two groups. The document results were graphically represented, revealing the main scientific focus of studies. Subsequently, our study investigated the quantitative assessment methods of MPs in marine environments, denoting the range of standard procedures applied for collecting and analyzing samples of water, bottom sediments, and coastal deposits. The technological part of the study includes the presentation of the relevant analytical techniques applied for MPs tracking and monitoring in water resources, determining the wide spectrum of plastic compounds traced. Of particular interest was the determination of environmental depletion and human implications caused, even by extremely low concentrations of MPs, for marine biota, posing potential risks to marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and food availability. Finally, the research proposed the challenges of actions needed to support scientific, industry, policy, and civil society communities to curb the ongoing flow of MPs and the toxic chemicals they contain into water resources, while rethinking the ways of plastics consumption by humanity. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastics; water sources; environmental pollution; marine environment; freshwater; toxicological effects microplastics; water sources; environmental pollution; marine environment; freshwater; toxicological effects
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kyriakopoulos, G.L.; Zamparas, M.G.; Kapsalis, V.C. Investigating the Human Impacts and the Environmental Consequences of Microplastics Disposal into Water Resources. Sustainability 2022, 14, 828. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020828

AMA Style

Kyriakopoulos GL, Zamparas MG, Kapsalis VC. Investigating the Human Impacts and the Environmental Consequences of Microplastics Disposal into Water Resources. Sustainability. 2022; 14(2):828. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020828

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kyriakopoulos, Grigorios L., Miltiadis G. Zamparas, and Vasileios C. Kapsalis. 2022. "Investigating the Human Impacts and the Environmental Consequences of Microplastics Disposal into Water Resources" Sustainability 14, no. 2: 828. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020828

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