The research, led by the University of Plymouth, examined the uptake of nanoparticles by a commercially important mollusc, the great scallop (Pecten maximus).
After six hours exposure in the laboratory, billions of particles measuring 250nm (around 0.00025mm) had accumulated within the scallop’s intestines.
However, considerably more even smaller particles measuring 20nm (0.00002mm) had become dispersed throughout the body including the kidney, gill, muscle and other organs.
The study is the first to quantify the uptake of nanoparticles at predicted environmentally relevant conditions, with previous research having been conducted at far higher concentrations than scientists believe are found in our oceans.
Dr Maya Al Sid Cheikh, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth, led the study. She said: “For this experiment, we needed to develop an entirely novel scientific approach. We made nanoparticles of plastic in our laboratories and incorporated a label so that we could trace the particles in the body of the scallop at environmentally relevant concentrations. The results of the study show for the first time that nanoparticles can be rapidly taken up by a marine organism, and that in just a few hours they become distributed across most of the major organs.”
Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Head of the University’s International Marine Litter Research Unit, added: “This is a ground breaking study, in terms of both the scientific approach and the findings. We only exposed the scallops to nanoparticles for a few hours and, despite them being transferred to clean conditions, traces were still present several weeks later. Understanding the dynamics of nanoparticle uptake and release, as well as their distribution in body tissues, is essential if we are to understand any potential effects on organisms. A key next step will be to use this approach to guide research investigating any potential effects of nanoparticles and in particular to consider the consequences of longer term exposures.”
Accepted for publication in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, the study also involved scientists from the Charles River Laboratories in Elphinstone, Scotland; the Institute Maurice la Montagne in Canada; and Heriot-Watt University.
It was conducted as part of RealRiskNano, a £1.1million project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Led by Heriot-Watt and Plymouth, it is exploring the effects which microscopic plastic particles can have on the marine environment.
In this study, the scallops were exposed to quantities of carbon-radiolabeled nanopolystyrene and after six hours, autoradiography was used to show the number of particles present in organs and tissue.
It was also used to demonstrate that the 20nm particles were no longer detectable after 14 days, whereas 250nm particles took 48 days to disappear.
Ted Henry, Professor of Environmental Toxicology at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Understanding whether plastic particles are absorbed across biological membranes and accumulate within internal organs is critical for assessing the risk these particles pose to both organism and human health. The novel use of radiolabelled plastic particles pioneered in Plymouth provides the most compelling evidence to date on the level of absorption of plastic particles in a marine organism.”
The Latest on: Nanoplastics
via Google News
The Latest on: Nanoplastics
- ECHA Proposes to Restrict Intentionally Added Microplastics on February 12, 2019 at 4:31 pm
ECHA states: “Due to their small size, microplastics and nanoplastics — even smaller particles that are created from the further degradation of microplastics — may be readily ingested and thereby ente... […]
- Microplastic pollution on tap in SA on February 7, 2019 at 2:00 pm
If you have been paying even the slightest attention to environmental issues, you will know that microplastics — also called nanoplastics which includes microbeads — are polluting both fresh ... […]
- Study: Marine Life May Mistake Nanoplastics for Food on February 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm
A team of scientists from Heriot-Watt University have found that ultra-small particles of plastic can join with bacteria, algae and other organic particles in seawater within minutes, forming ... […]
- Precious metal tracks nanoplastics on February 5, 2019 at 5:58 am
Researcher Denise Mitrano works in the laboratory of the ETH Institute for Chemical and Bioiengineering during the synthesis of nano-size plastic particles with a minute amount of palladium. […]
- Plastics glued in ocean by bacteria on February 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm
"This is a first step towards understanding how nanoplastics interact with natural biopolymers throughout the world's oceans," researcher Stephen Summers said. "The nanoplastics, which are 100-200 tim... […]
- Scallops seasoned with nanoplastics on January 3, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Microplastics are present in marine environments worldwide. As these particles break down further, they form nanoplastics, which are harder to detect. Nanoplastics also can enter the environment direc... […]
- In Just Hours, Sea Scallops Suck Up Billions of Microscopic Plastic Bits on December 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm
This is far from the first time researchers have looked into how nanoplastics can permeate marine organisms. But many past studies, according to this paper’s authors, were hamstrung by relying on fluo... […]
- Billions of Ocean Nanoplastics Can Get Lodged in Sea Creatures in Only a Few Hours on December 3, 2018 at 11:09 am
In less than the span of a workday, nanoplastics in water can make their way into organisms, a new study shows. In just six hours, scallops placed in water spiked with plastic nanoparticles had billio... […]
- Billions of nanoplastics accumulate in marine organisms within six hours on December 3, 2018 at 5:02 am
The research, led by the University of Plymouth, examined the uptake of nanoparticles by a commercially important mollusc, the great scallop (Pecten maximus). After six hours exposure in the laborator... […]
via Bing News