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      Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health

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          Abstract

          Purpose of Review

          We describe evidence regarding human exposure to microplastics via seafood and discuss potential health effects.

          Recent Findings

          Shellfish and other animals consumed whole pose particular concern for human exposure. If there is toxicity, it is likely dependent on dose, polymer type, size, surface chemistry, and hydrophobicity.

          Summary

          Human activity has led to microplastic contamination throughout the marine environment. As a result of widespread contamination, microplastics are ingested by many species of wildlife including fish and shellfish. Because microplastics are associated with chemicals from manufacturing and that sorb from the surrounding environment, there is concern regarding physical and chemical toxicity. Evidence regarding microplastic toxicity and epidemiology is emerging. We characterize current knowledge and highlight gaps. We also recommend mitigation and adaptation strategies targeting the life cycle of microplastics and recommend future research to assess impacts of microplastics on humans. Addressing these research gaps is a critical priority due to the nutritional importance of seafood consumption.

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          Most cited references23

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          Plastic and human health: a micro issue?

          Microplastics are a pollutant of environmental concern. Their presence in food destined for human consumption and in air samples has been reported. Thus, microplastic exposure via diet or inhalation could occur, the human health effects of which are unknown. The current review article draws upon cross-disciplinary scientific literature to discuss and evaluate the potential human health impacts of microplastics and outlines urgent areas for future research. Key literature up to September 2016 relating to bioaccumulation, particle toxicity, and chemical and microbial contaminants were critically examined. Whilst this is an emerging field, complimentary existing fields indicate potential particle, chemical and microbial hazards. If inhaled or ingested, microplastics may bioaccumulate and exert localised particle toxicity by inducing or enhancing an immune response. Chemical toxicity could occur due to the localised leaching of component monomers, endogenous additives, and adsorbed environmental pollutants. Chronic exposure is anticipated to be of greater concern due to the accumulative effect which could occur. This is expected to be dose-dependent, and a robust evidence-base of exposure levels is currently lacking. Whilst there is potential for microplastics to impact human health, assessing current exposure levels and burdens is key. This information will guide future research into the potential mechanisms of toxicity and hence therein possible health effects.
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            Transport and release of chemicals from plastics to the environment and to wildlife.

            Plastics debris in the marine environment, including resin pellets, fragments and microscopic plastic fragments, contain organic contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides (2,2'-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane, hexachlorinated hexanes), polybrominated diphenylethers, alkylphenols and bisphenol A, at concentrations from sub ng g(-1) to microg g(-1). Some of these compounds are added during plastics manufacture, while others adsorb from the surrounding seawater. Concentrations of hydrophobic contaminants adsorbed on plastics showed distinct spatial variations reflecting global pollution patterns. Model calculations and experimental observations consistently show that polyethylene accumulates more organic contaminants than other plastics such as polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride. Both a mathematical model using equilibrium partitioning and experimental data have demonstrated the transfer of contaminants from plastic to organisms. A feeding experiment indicated that PCBs could transfer from contaminated plastics to streaked shearwater chicks. Plasticizers, other plastics additives and constitutional monomers also present potential threats in terrestrial environments because they can leach from waste disposal sites into groundwater and/or surface waters. Leaching and degradation of plasticizers and polymers are complex phenomena dependent on environmental conditions in the landfill and the chemical properties of each additive. Bisphenol A concentrations in leachates from municipal waste disposal sites in tropical Asia ranged from sub microg l(-1) to mg l(-1) and were correlated with the level of economic development.
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              Uptake and Accumulation of Polystyrene Microplastics in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and Toxic Effects in Liver.

              Microplastics have become emerging contaminants, causing widespread concern about their potential toxic effects. In this study, the uptake and tissue accumulation of polystyrene microplastics (PS-MPs) in zebrafish were detected, and the toxic effects in liver were investigated. The results showed that after 7 days of exposure, 5 μm diameter MPs accumulated in fish gills, liver, and gut, while 20 μm diameter MPs accumulated only in fish gills and gut. Histopathological analysis showed that both 5 μm and 70 nm PS-MPs caused inflammation and lipid accumulation in fish liver. PS-MPs also induced significantly increased activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase, indicating that oxidative stress was induced after treatment with MPs. In addition, metabolomic analysis suggested that exposure to MPs induced alterations of metabolic profiles in fish liver and disturbed the lipid and energy metabolism. These findings provide new insights into the toxic effects of MPs on fish.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                +01.410.502.7578 , rneff1@jhu.edu
                Journal
                Curr Environ Health Rep
                Curr Environ Health Rep
                Current Environmental Health Reports
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                2196-5412
                16 August 2018
                16 August 2018
                2018
                : 5
                : 3
                : 375-386
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2171 9311, GRID grid.21107.35, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Bloomberg School of Public Health, , Johns Hopkins University, ; Baltimore, MD USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2171 9311, GRID grid.21107.35, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Bloomberg School of Public Health, , Johns Hopkins University, ; 615 N. Wolfe St., W7010, Baltimore, MD 21205 USA
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2157 2938, GRID grid.17063.33, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, , University of Toronto, ; Toronto, ON Canada
                Article
                206
                10.1007/s40572-018-0206-z
                6132564
                30116998
                7c21110e-1dd6-4883-9850-0015a72fdacb
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                History
                Categories
                Food, Health, and the Environment (KE Nachman and D Love, Section Editors)
                Custom metadata
                © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

                microplastics,toxicology,ocean,seafood,fish,human health impacts

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