A review of the plastic in microplastics. - GreenMedInfo Summary
The plastic in microplastics: A review.
Mar Pollut Bull. 2017 Jun 15 ;119(1):12-22. Epub 2017 Apr 24. PMID: 28449819
Anthony L Andrady
Microplastics [MPs], now a ubiquitous pollutant in the oceans, pose a serious potential threat to marine ecology and has justifiably encouraged focused biological and ecological research attention. But, their generation, fate, fragmentation and their propensity to sorb/release persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are determined by the characteristics of the polymers that constitutes them. Yet, physico-chemical characteristics of the polymers making up the MPs have not received detailed attention in published work. This review assesses the relevance of selected characteristics of plastics that composes the microplastics, to their role as a pollutant with potentially serious ecological impacts. Fragmentation leading to secondary microplastics is also discussed underlining the likelihood of a surface-ablation mechanism that can lead to preferential formation of smaller sized MPs.