Effects of microplastics from disposable medical masks on terrestrial invertebrates
ID Jemec Kokalj, Anita (Author), ID Dolar, Andraž (Author), ID Drobne, Damjana (Author), ID Škrlep, Luka (Author), ID Sever Škapin, Andrijana (Author), ID Marolt, Gregor (Author), ID Nagode, Ana (Author), ID Gestel, Cornelis A. M. van (Author)

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This study investigated impacts of microplastics from disposable polypropylene medical masks on woodlice Porcellio scaber, mealworm larvae Tenebrio molitor and enchytraeids Enchytraeus crypticus. Effects of microplastics on survival, reproduction, immune parameters and energy-related traits were assessed after 21 days exposure in soil. Microplastics obtained from each medical mask layer separately differed in size and shape (inner frontal layer: 45.1 ± 21.5 µm, fibers; middle filtering layer: 55.6 ± 28.5 µm, fragments; outer layer: 42.0 ± 17.8 µm, fibers) and composition of additives. Overall, the concentrations of metals and organic chemicals were too low to cause effects on soil invertebrates. The microplastics from disposable medical masks at 0.06%, 0.5%, 1.5%, w/w did not induce severe adverse effects on survival or reproduction (for enchytraeids). A transient immune response of woodlice and a change in energy-related traits in mealworms were observed, which was most clearly seen for the microplastics from the outer layer. This was reflected in increased electron transfer system activity of mealworms and different immune response dynamics of woodlice. In conclusion, the tested soil invertebrates respond to microplastics from disposable medical masks, but it remains unclear what these changes mean for their fitness on the long term.

Keywords:immune response, energy related traits, reproduction, additives
Work type:Article
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:BF - Biotechnical Faculty
FKKT - Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology
Publication status:Published
Publication version:Version of Record
Number of pages:9 str.
Numbering:Vol. 438, art. 129440
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-139592 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:0304-3894
DOI:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.129440 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:113941763 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:05.09.2022
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Journal of hazardous materials
Shortened title:J. hazard. mater.
COBISS.SI-ID:25748224 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.

Secondary language

Keywords:kopenski nevretenčarji, medicinske maske, mikroplastika


Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:P1-0184
Name:Integrativna zoologija in speleobiologija

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:P2-0273
Name:Gradbeni objekti in materiali

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:P1-0153
Name:Raziskave in razvoj analiznih metod in postopkov

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:J1-2482
Name:Vpliv okoljsko relevantne nano- in mikroplastike na kopenske nevretenčarje

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Funding programme:Young researchers

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding programme:Erasmus

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