Special Issue "Analysis and Prevention of Microplastics Pollution in Water: Current Research and Future Directions"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021) | Viewed by 7719
Interests: environmental distribution and modeling of persistent organic pollutants; nanoparticle distribution and effects on aquatic fauna; microplastic distribution in rivers and in drinking water
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
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- Chemical additives
- Analytical methodologies
- Removal efficiencies
- Wastewater treatment plants
- Microplastic toxicity