About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Our Marine Ecosystems Are Being Severely Effected By Plastics

by Rukmani Krishna on December 5, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Font : A-A+

 Our Marine Ecosystems Are Being Severely Effected By Plastics

Up till now it was unknown to researchers whether ingested plastic transfers chemical additives or pollutants to wildlife. However, a new study has shown that toxic concentrations of pollutants and additives enter the tissue of animals that have eaten microplastic.

Lead author Mark Anthony Browne, a postdoctoral fellow at NCEAS, had two objectives when the study commenced: to look at whether chemicals from microplastic move into the tissues of organisms; and to determine any impacts on the health and the functions that sustain biodiversity.

Advertisement

Microplastics are micrometer-size pieces that have eroded from larger plastic fragments, from fibres from washing clothing or from granules of plastic added to cleaning products. They are then consumed by a variety of animals, beginning with the bottom of the food chain. These tiny bits of plastic act like magnets, attracting pollutants out of the environment to attach to the plastic.

The study showed that large accumulations of microplastic have the potential to impact the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems.

Browne ran laboratory experiments with colleagues in the United Kingdom in which they exposed lugworms (Arenicola marina) to sand with 5 percent microplastic (polyvinylchloride) that also contained common chemical pollutants (nonylphenol, phenanthrene) and additives (triclosan, PBDE-47).
Advertisement

Results showed that pollutants and additives from ingested microplastic were present in the worms' tissues at concentrations that compromise key functions that normally sustain health and biodiversity.

"In our study, additives, such as triclosan (an antimicrobial), that are incorporated into plastics during manufacture caused mortality and diminished the ability of the lugworms to engineer sediments," Browne said. "Pollutants on microplastics also increased the vulnerability of lugworms to pathogens while the plastic itself caused oxidative stress."

The pollutant nonylphenol from microplastic or sand suppressed immune function by more than 60 percent. Triclosan from microplastic diminished the ability of worms to engineer sediments and caused mortality, each by more than 55 percent.

Triclosan, an antibacterial additive, has been found in animal studies to alter hormone regulation. Microplastic also increased the worms' susceptibility to oxidative stress by more than 30 percent.

The study was published in journal Current Biology.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drugs from Corals 

Recommended Reading
Fats and Oils Make Become Key Ingredient for Plastics
Scientists are undergoing a way to create plastics that have fats and oils as a key ingredient....
Plastics Used in Food Packaging Linked to High Blood Pressure in Children
Common types of plastics used in food packaging could be dangerous to children as they may lead to ....
Drugs from Corals
The uses of corals from coral reefs extends to the field of medicine. Molecules obtained from corals...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use