Special Issue "Analysis and Prevention of Microplastics Pollution in Water: Current Research and Future Directions"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Paolo Tremolada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP), University of Milan, Milano, Italy
Interests: environmental distribution and modeling of persistent organic pollutants; nanoparticle distribution and effects on aquatic fauna; microplastic distribution in rivers and in drinking water

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microplastics (MPs) are currently found almost everywhere, and the aquatic compartment is the final sink for most of the plastic debris. The marine environment is dramatically impacted by all kind of plastic contamination, and inland waters are also considered an important target of MPs. The detected polymers are mainly those found in common-use products: polyethylene (PE)—mainly in its low-density (LDPE; bin bags, plastic wraps, shopping bags) and high-density (HDPE; shopping bags, bottle caps, detergent bottles) forms, polypropylene (PP; yoghurt packaging, straws, semi-rigid containers), polystyrene (PS; foamed food containers, plastic cutlery), polyvinyl chloride (PVC, pipes), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET; bottles, food trays). Moreover, a wide range of chemical additives (e.g., polybrominated diphenyl ethers, bisphenol A, phthalates, fatty acids) are commonly added to polymers in order to modify their physicochemical properties (such as flame resistance, color, plasticity/viscosity, and lubricity). Other chemicals can be absorbed from the environment by physical partitioning into the polymer matrix (such as lipophilic persistent organic pollutants). Microplastics can reach food products via the food chain or during foodstuff manipulations, leading to direct human exposure. Triggered by the numerous studies on MP occurrence and reinforced by the detection of MPs in human stool, plastic pollution has also become of concern as a potential threat to human health. Recent studies confirmed the presence of MPs in bottled drinking water, but the methodologies used for identifying MPs were very different, highlighting the need for standardization of MP analysis and improvements in quality assurance.

The following diverse scientific issues seem to be of the greatest urgency:

  • Comparative studies on different analytical methodologies for microplastic detection;
  • Microplastic occurrence in inland waterbodies and source quantification;
  • Microplastic effect at cellular, organ, and individual level, mainly regarding “environmental” microplastics;
  • Size and shape effect of microplastic toxicity;
  • Removal efficiencies in wastewater treatment plants;
  • From microplastics to nanoplastics: size scale continuity or different worlds.

Prof. Dr. Paolo Tremolada
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Microplastic
  • Nanoplastics
  • Chemical additives
  • Analytical methodologies
  • Removal efficiencies
  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • Microplastic toxicity
  • Cytotoxicity

Published Papers (2 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Modelling Microplastics in the River Thames: Sources, Sinks and Policy Implications
Water 2021, 13(6), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060861 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1681
Abstract
With widespread, long-term historical use of plastics and the presence of microplastics in a range of new and existing products, there is rising concern about their potential impacts on freshwater ecosystems. Understanding how microplastics are transported and distributed along river systems is key [...] Read more.
With widespread, long-term historical use of plastics and the presence of microplastics in a range of new and existing products, there is rising concern about their potential impacts on freshwater ecosystems. Understanding how microplastics are transported and distributed along river systems is key to assessing impacts. Modelling the main flow dynamics, mixing, sedimentation and resuspension processes is essential for an understanding of the transport processes. We use the new, processed based, dynamic, integrated catchments (INCA) microplastics model and apply this to the whole of the freshwater catchment of the River Thames, UK, to evaluate inputs, loads and concentrations along the river system. Recent data from UK water industry studies on microplastics in effluent discharges and sewage sludge disposal has been utilised to drive the INCA microplastics model. Predicted concentrations and microplastic loads moving along the river system are shown to be significant, with a build-up of concentrations along the river, with increasing deposition on the riverbed. The potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems are evaluated and a review of policy implications is explored. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Particle Size and Pre-Treatment Effects on Polystyrene Microplastic Settlement in Water: Implications for Environmental Behavior and Ecotoxicological Tests
Water 2020, 12(12), 3436; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123436 - 08 Dec 2020
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Microplastic (MP) particle dispersions used in many recent publications covering adsorption or toxicological studies are not characterized very well. The size distribution of polydisperse dispersions is highly dependent on the agglomeration processes and influences experimental outcomes. Therefore, pre-treatment is a prerequisite for reproducibility. [...] Read more.
Microplastic (MP) particle dispersions used in many recent publications covering adsorption or toxicological studies are not characterized very well. The size distribution of polydisperse dispersions is highly dependent on the agglomeration processes and influences experimental outcomes. Therefore, pre-treatment is a prerequisite for reproducibility. In this study, manual/automated shaking and ultrasonic treatment as different mechanical dispersion techniques were applied for the dispersion of cryomilled polystyrene (PS). Particle numbers and size distribution of dispersions were analyzed by a light extinction particle counter and the dispersion efficiency (ED) as the ratio between calculated volume and theoretical volume of suspended particles was used to compare techniques. PS dispersions (20 mg/L) treated for 90 min in an ultrasonic bath (120 W, 35 kHz) were evenly dispersed with a particle concentration of 140,000 particles/mL and a high reproducibility (rel. SD = 2.1%, n = 6). Automated horizontal shaking for 754 h (250 rpm) reached similar particle numbers (122,000/mL) but with a lower reproducibility (rel. SD = 9.1%, n = 6). Manual shaking by hand dispersed the lowest number of particles (55,000/mL) and was therefore found to be unsuitable to counteract homo-agglomeration. ED was calculated as 127%, 104% and 69% for ultrasonic treatment, horizontal shaking and manual shaking, respectively, showing an overestimation of volume assuming spherical shaped particles. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop