Interactive effects between sinking polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microplastics deriving from water bottles and a benthic grazer

Catégorie : Impacts de la Pollution Plastique
Date :2 octobre 2020
Parolini, Marco; Ferrario, Cinzia; Felice, Beatrice de; Gazzotti, Stefano; Bonasoro, Francesco; Carnevali, Maria Daniela Candia; Ortenzi, Marco Aldo; Sugni, Michela.
Journal of Hazardous Materials : 398
The information concerning the toxicity of sinking microplastics (MPs) on benthic marine animals, particularly benthic grazers, is still scant. No study focused on biological weathering of sinked MPs operated by benthic organisms. This study aims at investigating the ingestion and the effects induced by 7-days dietary exposure to environmentally relevant amount (8, 80 and 800 particles/g of food) of irregular shaped and sized (diameter 12.6-1,065 mu m; mean diameter 316 +/- 12 mu m) polyethylene terephthalate microplastics (PET-MPs) on a common marine benthic grazer, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Adverse effects were investigated on di-gestive tract at biochemical (oxidative stress biomarkers) and tissue level (histopathological analyses). Potential alteration of MP structure/surface and PET macromolecules due to the ingestion of PET-MPs within the sea urchin digestive tract were investigated. Results showed that PET-MPs were efficiently egested by sea urchins without producing histological alterations on digestive tract tissues, only inducing a slight modulation of oxi-dative status. Sea urchin grazing activity and the related transit of PET-MPs within animal digestive tract slightly affected MP structure and PET composition. These findings suggest that PET-MPs might represent an hazard for benthic grazer organisms, which can partially contribute to the degradation of PET in marine ecosystems.