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Title: Microplásticos en el medio ambiente y su impacto en la cadena trófica
Author: García Regueiro, José Antonio
Tutor: Garí de Barbarà, Mercè
Keywords: microplastics
aquatic ecosystems
human health
Issue Date: 10-Jul-2019
Publisher: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Abstract: Plastics are used in multiple human activities. A considerable part of the plastics is used in the food industry for food packaging and the life cycle is short that generates a very high amount of plastic debris. The contamination of the environment by plastic particles and related compounds is a well-established fact. The presence and distribution of microplastic particles (MP) in the marine environment has been contrasted by identifying them in algae, invertebrates, fish and marine mammals. The objective of this study is to know data about the extent of this contamination and the amounts of MP particles that are detected along the food chain, especially in invertebrates and fish for human consumption. The possible ingestion of MP from food packaging was considered for bottled water as a reference data of the potential risk of different MP sources. A bibliographic review was carried out to know the impact and the degree of affectation in the marine environment, with the objective of comparing the results, the methods of analysis and a rough estimation of the intake in the human diet. In all the works consulted, microparticles of different sizes between 5 mm and 10 µm were detected and the most abundant polymers were polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS). Fibers and fragments were the most abundant particles and to a lesser degree the presence of microspheres was observed. The most numerous particles were those in the size range 100 - 10 µm, which is relevant because of its greater toxic potential. The analytical technique influenced the results due to the different capacity of resolution, sensitivity, spectral range, interferences and to the drawback of the analysis time needed for a surface type of 4 mm x 4 mm that could contain more than 100 particles of different types. Most of the data collected described the presence in marine invertebrates and in smaller quantity throughout the whole trophic chain. The bottled water contained high amounts of particles, of the order of 200 - 10000 MP p/ L; however, a great variability was observed related to the process of preparation in situ of the plastic bottles. MP were toxic for both marine species and human epithelial and neuronal cells.
Language: Spanish
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