Microplastics and Nano-Plastics: From Initiation to Termination

Article Authors: Oluwafemi Awolesi 1,2,3,4, Peter Oni 5, Beatrice Arwenyo 4,6*


Following the advent of the Industrial Revolution, plastic pollution has been a serious environmental issue while micro- and nano-plastics have been a cynosure of researchers’ attention in the twenty-first century. This is due to the improved knowledge of its ecotoxicological effects and the global pushforward towards sustainability. There is a growing concern that the increasing presence of microplastics and nanoplastics (MNPs) in aquatic habitats poses a threat to marine life, and it is predicted that nanoplastics will be just as ubiquitous as macro- and micro-plastics, but far more destructive to living organisms due to their ability to infiltrate cells. Recent research has shown that marine and freshwater biota become entangled with plastic litter, which disrupts the ecosystem. Aquatic creatures are known to absorb and deposit these new pollutants in their digestive systems, as has been documented in several studies. More recent research has also examined their co-occurrence and toxicity with other emerging contaminants, including their prevalence and effects in food, air, and soil. Using articles extracted from a six-year period from Scopus, ACS Publications and Google Scholar, this review explores the origins, fates, occurrence in the food chain, exposure routes, cellular interactions of microplastics and nano-plastics, in addition to the ecotoxicological impacts, analytical methods, and the potential remedies for combating pollution and toxicity. Ultimately, this review is a comprehensive, updated addendum to available reviews on micro- and nano-plastics.

Bibliographical metadata

Journal Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection
Volume 11
Issue No. 1
Pages 249-280
DOI https://doi.org/10.4236/gep.2023.111016
Related Faculties/Schools

1Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA.
2Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA.
3Ecoxygiene Services Limited, Opebi Rd, Opebi, Lagos State, Nigeria.
4Department of Chemistry, Mississippi State University, Starkville, USA.
5Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, USA.
6Department of Chemistry, Gulu University, Gulu, Uganda.