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Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated potencies in field-deployed plastics vary by type of polymer
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (MTM Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4870-6470
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (MTM Research Centre)
School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden. (MTM Research Centre)
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (MTM Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7338-2079
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2019 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 26, no 9, p. 9097-9088Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Plastic is able to sorb environmental pollutants from ambient water and might act as a vector for these pollutants to marine organisms. The potential toxicological effects of plastic-sorbed pollutants in marine organisms have not been thoroughly assessed. In this study, organic extracts from four types of plastic deployed for 9 or 12 months in San Diego Bay, California, were examined for their potential to activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway by use of the H4IIE-luc assay. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), including the 16 priority PAHs, were quantified. The AhR-mediated potency in the deployed plastic samples, calculated as bio-TEQ values, ranged from 2.7 pg/g in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to 277 pg/g in low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Concentrations of the sum of 24 PAHs in the deployed samples ranged from 4.6 to 1068 ng/g. By use of relative potency factors (REP), a potency balance between the biological effect (bio-TEQs) and the targeted PAHs (chem-TEQs) was calculated to 24-170%. The study reports, for the first time, in vitro AhR-mediated potencies for different deployed plastics, of which LDPE elicited the greatest concentration of bio-TEQs followed by polypropylene (PP), PET, and polyvinylchloride (PVC).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 26, no 9, p. 9097-9088
Keywords [en]
Ah receptor, H4IIE-luc, In vitro bioassays, Microplastics, PAH
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-72376DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-04281-4ISI: 000464851100063PubMedID: 30715715Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061216163OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-72376DiVA, id: diva2:1287494
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 223-2014-1064Knowledge FoundationAvailable from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Microplastics in the marine environment and the assessment of potential adverse effects of associated chemicals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microplastics in the marine environment and the assessment of potential adverse effects of associated chemicals
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last decade plastics have gained interest by scientists as emerging pollutants particularly in the marine environment due to their ubiquity and persistence. While several studies report the occurrence of microplastics in surface waters globally, there are no harmonized methods to sample and measure microplastics, and the knowledge of toxicological effects in the marine ecosystem is scarce. One of the concerns is that microplastics could transfer hazardous chemicals into organism upon ingestion.

In this thesis chemical and bioanalytical methods were combined to address the hypothesis that plastic pollution poses a risk for marine ecosystems by exposure to plastic associated chemicals such as sorbed environmental pollutants, additives, and monomers. Six different pristine plastic polymers were studied which have been deployed in the marine and freshwater system for up to 12 months. Potential adverse effects of plastic associated chemicals were investigated with in vitro reporter gene assays which can be activated by several chemical classes. The main focus was on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated activity for the assessment of dioxin-like chemicals. Different groups of persistent environmental pollutants, which are present in the aquatic environment, were analyzed by gas chromatographic mass spectrometric methods. The contribution of the targeted chemicals to the measured biological activities was examined by conducting potency balance calculations. A better knowledge about the occurrence of microplastics in the waters surrounding Sweden was gained by sampling surface waters comparing two different sampling techniques, trawl and in-situ pump.

The plastic pellets induced bioactivities in most tested reporter gene assays and the activities varied by type of polymer. In the majority of samples the contribution of the targeted environmental pollutants to the observed bioactivities was low. Concentrations of microplastics > 0.3 mm in surface waters around Sweden were observed to be low and the findings of this thesis suggest that the tested polymers with sizes 2-4 mm will not lead to an increased risk for marine ecosystems in terms of exposure to chemicals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2019. p. 61
Series
Örebro Studies in Chemistry, ISSN 1651-4270 ; 23
Keywords
Microplastics, reporter gene bioassays, sorption, HOCs, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene
National Category
Other Chemistry Topics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74661 (URN)978-91-7529-292-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-06, Örebro universitet, Hörsalen, Musikhögskolan, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Schönlau, ChristineLarsson, MariaEngwall, MagnusKärrman, Anna

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