Microplastic pollution in soils, plants, and animals



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Microplastic pollution in soils, plants, and animals

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. 77% of the blood of people tested by researchers at the Vrije University of Amsterdam in 2022 was found to contain microplastics as they can travel in the body and deposit in organs.

The study, Microplastic pollution in soils, plants, and animals: A review of distributions, effects and potential mechanisms, published on the The Science of the total environment, explained: "Increasing production of synthetic plastics and poor management of plastic wastes have dramatically increased the amount of plastics in the environment.

In 2014, at the first United Nations Environment Assembly, marine plastic waste pollution was listed as one of the 10 most pressing environmental issues. In addition, there is much plastic waste in terrestrial ecosystems due to substantial residues from agricultural mulching and packing.

As a recently recognized pollutant, microplastics (MPs) have attracted significant attention from the public and various governments. Concentrations of MPs in the environment vary among locations, from <100 to> 1 × 106 particles per cubic meter.

Many studies have addressed the impacts and potential mechanisms of MPs on the environment and organisms. Humans and other organisms can ingest or carry MPs in a variety of passive ways and these MPs can have a range of negative effects on metabolism, function, and health.

Additionally, given their large surfa ce area, MPs can sorb various pollutants, including heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, with serious implications for animals and human wellbeing. However, due to their complexity and a lack of accurate determination methods, the systematic impacts of MP pollution on whole foodwebs are not clearly established.

Therefore, this review summarizes current research advances in MP pollution, particularly the impact of MPs on soils, plants, and animals, and proposes potential future research prospects to better characterize MPs."