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Release of hazardous nanoplastic contaminants due to microplastics fragmentation under shear stress forces

journal contribution
posted on 2020-02-15, 00:00 authored by M Enfrin, J Lee, Y Gibert, Faiza BasheerFaiza Basheer, Lingxue KongLingxue Kong, Ludovic DumeeLudovic Dumee
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. The presence of nanoplastics in water has become a major environmental concern in the last decade however the knowledge on the origin and formation of these emerging contaminants is lacking due to analytical challenges in detection and quantification techniques. The release of nanoplastics due to the fragmentation of microplastics extracted from a facial scrub and the resulting toxicity on aquatic species are reported here for the first time. The daily use of 4 g of facial scrub could release up to 1011 microplastics of 400 nm in size per litre of wastewater from household drains. Turbulences created by mixing or pumping induced the fragmentation of microplastics into nanoplastics smaller than 10 nm via a crack propagation and failure mechanism, increasing the number of particles in water by one order of magnitude. Compared to microplastics at a fixed concentration number of 6.8 × 108 part./mL, the generated nanoplastics initiated the death of 54% more cells in zebrafish by passive ingestion via skin diffusion which therefore pose a real threat for aquatic living organisms. These results stress the need to reduce the release of nano/microplastics in the aquatic environment to prevent the contamination of all trophic levels.

History

Journal

Journal of Hazardous Materials

Volume

384

Article number

121393

Pagination

1 - 9

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0304-3894

eISSN

1873-3336

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal