Although the discovery of plastic in the last century has brought enormous benefits to daily activities, it must be said that its use produces countless environmental problems that are difficult to solve. The indiscriminate use and the increase in industrial production of cleaning, cosmetic, packaging, fertilizer, automotive, construction and pharmaceutical products have introduced tons of plastics and microplastics into the environment. The latter are of greatest concern due to their size and their omnipresence in the various environmental sectors. Today, they represent a contaminant of increasing ecotoxicological interest especially in aquatic environments due to their high stability and diffusion. In this regard, this critical review aims to describe the different sources of microplastics, emphasizing their effects in aquatic ecosystems and the danger to the health of living beings, while examining, at the same time, those few modelling studies conducted to estimate the future impact of plastic towards the marine ecosystem. Furthermore, this review summarizes the latest scientific advances related to removal techniques, evaluating their advantages and disadvantages. The final purpose is to highlight the great environmental problem that we are going to face in the coming decades, and the need to develop appropriate strategies to invert the current scenario as well as better performing removal techniques to minimize the environmental impacts of microplastics.

Microplastics in aquatic systems, a comprehensive review: origination, accumulation, impact, and removal technologies

Tursi A.;Baratta M.;Chidichimo F.;De Filpo G.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Although the discovery of plastic in the last century has brought enormous benefits to daily activities, it must be said that its use produces countless environmental problems that are difficult to solve. The indiscriminate use and the increase in industrial production of cleaning, cosmetic, packaging, fertilizer, automotive, construction and pharmaceutical products have introduced tons of plastics and microplastics into the environment. The latter are of greatest concern due to their size and their omnipresence in the various environmental sectors. Today, they represent a contaminant of increasing ecotoxicological interest especially in aquatic environments due to their high stability and diffusion. In this regard, this critical review aims to describe the different sources of microplastics, emphasizing their effects in aquatic ecosystems and the danger to the health of living beings, while examining, at the same time, those few modelling studies conducted to estimate the future impact of plastic towards the marine ecosystem. Furthermore, this review summarizes the latest scientific advances related to removal techniques, evaluating their advantages and disadvantages. The final purpose is to highlight the great environmental problem that we are going to face in the coming decades, and the need to develop appropriate strategies to invert the current scenario as well as better performing removal techniques to minimize the environmental impacts of microplastics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/339927
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