Low levels of microplastics (MP) in wild mussels indicate that MP ingestion by humans is minimal compared to exposure via household fibres fallout during a meal

Ana I. Catarino, Valeria Macchia, William G. Sanderson, Richard C. Thompson, Theodore B. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Microplastics (MPs) are the most numerous debris reported in marine environments and assessment of the amounts of MPs that accumulate in wild organisms is necessary for risk assessment. Our objective was to
assess MP contamination in mussels collected around the coast of Scotland (UK) to identify characteristics of MPs and to evaluate risk of human exposure to MPs via ingestion of mussels. We deployed caged mussels (Mytilus
edulis) in an urbanised estuary (Edinburgh, UK) to assess seasonal changes in plastic pollution, and collected mussels (Mytilus spp and subtidal Modiolus modiolus) from eight sampling stations around Scotland to enumerate
MP types at different locations. We determined the potential exposure of humans to household dust fibres during a meal to compare with amounts of MPs present in edible mussels. The mean number of MPs in M. modiolus
was 0.086 ± 0.031 (SE, n = 6)/g ww (3.5 ± 1.29 (SE) per mussel). In Mytilus spp, the mean number of MPs/g ww was 3.0 ± 0.9 (SE, n = 36) (3.2 ± 0.52 (SE) per mussel), but weight dependent. The visual accuracy of plastic
fibres identification was estimated to be between 48 and 50%, using Nile Red staining and FT-IR methodologies, respectively, halving the observed amounts of MPs in wild mussels. We observed an allometric relationship
between the number of MPs and the mussels wet weight. Our predictions of MPs ingestion by humans via consumption of mussels is 123 MP particles/y/capita in the UK and can go up to 4620 particles/y/capita in countries
with a higher shellfish consumption. By comparison, the risk of plastic ingestion via mussel consumption is minimal when compared to fibre exposure during a meal via dust fallout in a household (13,731–68,415
particles/Y/capita).
LanguageEnglish
Pages675-684
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume237
Early online date29 Mar 2018
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

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fallout
plastic
dust
shellfish
marine environment
risk assessment
estuary
pollution
methodology
coast
sampling
prediction
household
fibre
particle
exposure
consumption

Keywords

  • Microplastics
  • Mussels
  • Fibres
  • Field assessment
  • Airborne household dust

Cite this

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title = "Low levels of microplastics (MP) in wild mussels indicate that MP ingestion by humans is minimal compared to exposure via household fibres fallout during a meal",
abstract = "Microplastics (MPs) are the most numerous debris reported in marine environments and assessment of the amounts of MPs that accumulate in wild organisms is necessary for risk assessment. Our objective was toassess MP contamination in mussels collected around the coast of Scotland (UK) to identify characteristics of MPs and to evaluate risk of human exposure to MPs via ingestion of mussels. We deployed caged mussels (Mytilusedulis) in an urbanised estuary (Edinburgh, UK) to assess seasonal changes in plastic pollution, and collected mussels (Mytilus spp and subtidal Modiolus modiolus) from eight sampling stations around Scotland to enumerateMP types at different locations. We determined the potential exposure of humans to household dust fibres during a meal to compare with amounts of MPs present in edible mussels. The mean number of MPs in M. modioluswas 0.086 ± 0.031 (SE, n = 6)/g ww (3.5 ± 1.29 (SE) per mussel). In Mytilus spp, the mean number of MPs/g ww was 3.0 ± 0.9 (SE, n = 36) (3.2 ± 0.52 (SE) per mussel), but weight dependent. The visual accuracy of plasticfibres identification was estimated to be between 48 and 50{\%}, using Nile Red staining and FT-IR methodologies, respectively, halving the observed amounts of MPs in wild mussels. We observed an allometric relationshipbetween the number of MPs and the mussels wet weight. Our predictions of MPs ingestion by humans via consumption of mussels is 123 MP particles/y/capita in the UK and can go up to 4620 particles/y/capita in countrieswith a higher shellfish consumption. By comparison, the risk of plastic ingestion via mussel consumption is minimal when compared to fibre exposure during a meal via dust fallout in a household (13,731–68,415particles/Y/capita).",
keywords = "Microplastics, Mussels, Fibres, Field assessment, Airborne household dust",
author = "Catarino, {Ana I.} and Valeria Macchia and Sanderson, {William G.} and Thompson, {Richard C.} and Henry, {Theodore B.}",
year = "2018",
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volume = "237",
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journal = "Environmental Pollution",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Low levels of microplastics (MP) in wild mussels indicate that MP ingestion by humans is minimal compared to exposure via household fibres fallout during a meal

AU - Catarino,Ana I.

AU - Macchia,Valeria

AU - Sanderson,William G.

AU - Thompson,Richard C.

AU - Henry,Theodore B.

PY - 2018/6

Y1 - 2018/6

N2 - Microplastics (MPs) are the most numerous debris reported in marine environments and assessment of the amounts of MPs that accumulate in wild organisms is necessary for risk assessment. Our objective was toassess MP contamination in mussels collected around the coast of Scotland (UK) to identify characteristics of MPs and to evaluate risk of human exposure to MPs via ingestion of mussels. We deployed caged mussels (Mytilusedulis) in an urbanised estuary (Edinburgh, UK) to assess seasonal changes in plastic pollution, and collected mussels (Mytilus spp and subtidal Modiolus modiolus) from eight sampling stations around Scotland to enumerateMP types at different locations. We determined the potential exposure of humans to household dust fibres during a meal to compare with amounts of MPs present in edible mussels. The mean number of MPs in M. modioluswas 0.086 ± 0.031 (SE, n = 6)/g ww (3.5 ± 1.29 (SE) per mussel). In Mytilus spp, the mean number of MPs/g ww was 3.0 ± 0.9 (SE, n = 36) (3.2 ± 0.52 (SE) per mussel), but weight dependent. The visual accuracy of plasticfibres identification was estimated to be between 48 and 50%, using Nile Red staining and FT-IR methodologies, respectively, halving the observed amounts of MPs in wild mussels. We observed an allometric relationshipbetween the number of MPs and the mussels wet weight. Our predictions of MPs ingestion by humans via consumption of mussels is 123 MP particles/y/capita in the UK and can go up to 4620 particles/y/capita in countrieswith a higher shellfish consumption. By comparison, the risk of plastic ingestion via mussel consumption is minimal when compared to fibre exposure during a meal via dust fallout in a household (13,731–68,415particles/Y/capita).

AB - Microplastics (MPs) are the most numerous debris reported in marine environments and assessment of the amounts of MPs that accumulate in wild organisms is necessary for risk assessment. Our objective was toassess MP contamination in mussels collected around the coast of Scotland (UK) to identify characteristics of MPs and to evaluate risk of human exposure to MPs via ingestion of mussels. We deployed caged mussels (Mytilusedulis) in an urbanised estuary (Edinburgh, UK) to assess seasonal changes in plastic pollution, and collected mussels (Mytilus spp and subtidal Modiolus modiolus) from eight sampling stations around Scotland to enumerateMP types at different locations. We determined the potential exposure of humans to household dust fibres during a meal to compare with amounts of MPs present in edible mussels. The mean number of MPs in M. modioluswas 0.086 ± 0.031 (SE, n = 6)/g ww (3.5 ± 1.29 (SE) per mussel). In Mytilus spp, the mean number of MPs/g ww was 3.0 ± 0.9 (SE, n = 36) (3.2 ± 0.52 (SE) per mussel), but weight dependent. The visual accuracy of plasticfibres identification was estimated to be between 48 and 50%, using Nile Red staining and FT-IR methodologies, respectively, halving the observed amounts of MPs in wild mussels. We observed an allometric relationshipbetween the number of MPs and the mussels wet weight. Our predictions of MPs ingestion by humans via consumption of mussels is 123 MP particles/y/capita in the UK and can go up to 4620 particles/y/capita in countrieswith a higher shellfish consumption. By comparison, the risk of plastic ingestion via mussel consumption is minimal when compared to fibre exposure during a meal via dust fallout in a household (13,731–68,415particles/Y/capita).

KW - Microplastics

KW - Mussels

KW - Fibres

KW - Field assessment

KW - Airborne household dust

U2 - 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.02.069

DO - 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.02.069

M3 - Article

VL - 237

SP - 675

EP - 684

JO - Environmental Pollution

T2 - Environmental Pollution

JF - Environmental Pollution

SN - 0269-7491

ER -