Microplastic pollution of worldwide lakes



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Microplastic pollution of worldwide lakes

There are two categories of microplastics: the primary is produced as a direct result of the human use of these substances and the secondary as a result of fragmentation of plastic waste of larger portions. Both categories of microplastics have been found to persist in the environment in large quantities, especially in marine and aquatic ecosystems.

This is because plastic deforms but does not break for many years, it can be ingested and accumulated in the body and tissues of many organisms. The entire cycle and movement of microplastics in the environment has not yet been studied in depth, especially due to the difficulty of analyzing a mixture of various types of more or less inert plastics.

Microplastic pollution of worldwide lakes, a study published on the Environmental pollution magazine, explains: "Studies on microplastic (MP) pollution in lakes are recent, although the problem of MP particles in the oceans was first discovered in the 1970s.

The first study on lakes was published in 2011. Since then, to our knowledge, 98 lakes have been investigated worldwide. In recent years, studies on this topic have increased worldwide, particularly those focusing on urbanized lakes.

Most of the plastic waste in the seas and oceans originates from the terrestrial environment and inland waters. Moreover, lakes are potential temporary or long-term MP accumulators, according to the residence time of water.

They are also of high interest for biodiversity, ecology, and the economy. Lacustrine ecosystems may suffer the same fate as marine ecosystems, or even worse, owing to their greater exposure. With the significant focus on ocean and sea contamination, contamination of freshwater ecosys tems and lakes is a new and rising topic.

However, as a new field of research, several methodological issues have been raised. The team diversity worldwide has led to contrasting sampling techniques and materials, sample treatments, analyzes, and presentation of results.

Consequently, it is necessary to determine several consensuses between scientific teams in order to work together with accuracy, produce comparable results, speed up knowledge sharing and reduce the reproducibility crisis.

This review focuses on MP contamination in 98 worldwide lakes. We identify (2) the theoretical sources of MPs and provide an estimate of MP pollution in different compartments of the lakes based on current state-of-the-art methods.

In addition, we also report the predominant MP size classes and polymer types. Finally, we suggest several recommendations to build a consensus between all the working teams to facilitate decision-making by public authorities. "