The study of the contamination of plastic mixtures sampled in natural environments is currently focused on their qualitative and quantitative assessment, while the evaluation of their effects on organisms is normally performed by experiments carried out at exposure conditions (size, shape, polymers) often far from the environmental ones. To improve the ecological realism, the aim of this study was to collect different plastic mixtures in 9 sampling stations located in 7 watercourses within the metropolitan city of Milan, one of the most anthropized and industrialized European areas, to evaluate both their qualitative and quantitative characteristics and, at the same time, to assess their ecotoxicological effects by exposing for 7 days some specimens of the freshwater bivalve Dreissena polymorpha to the mixtures collected in the sampling sites. The plastic characterization was performed by a Fourier-Transform Infrared spectrometer coupled with an optical microscope (μFT-IR), after several stages aimed to sample cleaning, separation of plastics and visual sorting. The possible effects caused by the plastic mixtures were carried out by the measurements of a biomarker suite to evaluate many cellular and molecular endpoints in mussel tissues. The main results showed a widespread and heterogeneous contamination of plastics in the entire metropolitan area, with contamination peaks found above all in the only two rivers of natural origin (Olona River and Lambro River) where comparable or higher values were reached than plastic concentrations measured in several European rivers. Despite this worrying contamination, the ecotoxicological data obtained after the exposures to the plastic mixtures collected in the selected water bodies showed only a mild effect on oxidative stress and on the variation of some antioxidant enzymes.

A realistic approach for the assessment of plastic contamination and its ecotoxicological consequences : A case study in the metropolitan city of Milan (N. Italy) / A. Binelli, C. Della Torre, L. Nigro, N. Riccardi, S. Magni. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 806:Pt 2(2022 Feb), pp. 150574.1-150574.19. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150574]

A realistic approach for the assessment of plastic contamination and its ecotoxicological consequences : A case study in the metropolitan city of Milan (N. Italy)

A. Binelli
Primo
;
C. Della Torre
Secondo
;
L. Nigro;S. Magni
Ultimo
2022-02

Abstract

The study of the contamination of plastic mixtures sampled in natural environments is currently focused on their qualitative and quantitative assessment, while the evaluation of their effects on organisms is normally performed by experiments carried out at exposure conditions (size, shape, polymers) often far from the environmental ones. To improve the ecological realism, the aim of this study was to collect different plastic mixtures in 9 sampling stations located in 7 watercourses within the metropolitan city of Milan, one of the most anthropized and industrialized European areas, to evaluate both their qualitative and quantitative characteristics and, at the same time, to assess their ecotoxicological effects by exposing for 7 days some specimens of the freshwater bivalve Dreissena polymorpha to the mixtures collected in the sampling sites. The plastic characterization was performed by a Fourier-Transform Infrared spectrometer coupled with an optical microscope (μFT-IR), after several stages aimed to sample cleaning, separation of plastics and visual sorting. The possible effects caused by the plastic mixtures were carried out by the measurements of a biomarker suite to evaluate many cellular and molecular endpoints in mussel tissues. The main results showed a widespread and heterogeneous contamination of plastics in the entire metropolitan area, with contamination peaks found above all in the only two rivers of natural origin (Olona River and Lambro River) where comparable or higher values were reached than plastic concentrations measured in several European rivers. Despite this worrying contamination, the ecotoxicological data obtained after the exposures to the plastic mixtures collected in the selected water bodies showed only a mild effect on oxidative stress and on the variation of some antioxidant enzymes.
Biomarkers; Ecotoxicology; Plastics; Risk assessment; River
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/882585
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