Nanoplastics impact on marine biota: A review

Joanna M.Gonçalves and Maria João Bebianno

Emerging contaminants, such as nanoplastics, are gaining a vast interest within the scientific community. Most of the plastic debris found in the marine environment originates from land-based sources, and once in the marine environment, plastic can be degraded into smaller fragments. Nanoplastics are considered to fall within the definition of other nanoparticles (1–100 nm in size) and may be divided into primary or secondary nanoplastics. Primary nanoplastics are those that enter the environment in their original small size associated with specific applications and consumer products, whilst secondary nanoplastics are a consequence of macro/microplastic degradation. The formation of nanoplastics changes the physical-chemical characteristics of the particle, thus at a nanoscale, it is expected that the strength, conductivity, and reactivity of the nanoparticles will differ substantially from macro/micro-sized particles. To date, the toxicity nanoplastics may pursue on marine biota is still scarce. Herein, a review of the available data on the effects of different polymer types of nanoplastics specific to marine biota is accounted for.

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