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Sampling, isolating and identifying microplastics ingested by fish and invertebrates

Lusher, A. L.; Welden, N. A.; Sobral, P. and Cole, M. (2017). Sampling, isolating and identifying microplastics ingested by fish and invertebrates. Analytical Methods, 9(9) pp. 1346–1360.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1039/c6ay02415g
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Abstract

Microplastic debris (<5 mm) is a prolific environmental pollutant, found worldwide in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Interactions between biota and microplastics are prevalent, and there is growing evidence that microplastics can incite significant health effects in exposed organisms. To date, the methods used to quantify such interactions have varied greatly between studies. Here, we critically review methods for sampling, isolating and identifying microplastics ingested by environmentally and laboratory exposed fish and invertebrates. We aim to draw attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the suite of published microplastic extraction and enumeration techniques. Firstly, we highlight the risk of microplastic losses and accumulation during biotic sampling and storage, and suggest protocols for mitigating contamination in the field and laboratory. We evaluate a suite of methods for extracting microplastics ingested by biota, including dissection, depuration, digestion and density separation. Lastly, we consider the applicability of visual identification and chemical analyses in categorising microplastics. We discuss the urgent need for the standardisation of protocols to promote consistency in data collection and analysis. Harmonized methods will allow for more accurate assessment of the impacts and risks microplastics pose to biota and increase comparability between studies.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 1759-9679
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 48836
Depositing User: Natalie Welden
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 15:42
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 06:17
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/48836
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