First experiment completed for study seeking to close knowledge gaps in microplastics exposure data

Posted October 27, 2023

SCCWRP and its partners have completed the first of two exposure experiments for a two-year toxicity study working to close knowledge gaps in how aquatic life are adversely affected by exposure to microplastics pollution.

During the initial mesocosm experiment, completed in September, researchers examined how juvenile inland silverside fish respond when exposed to environmentally relevant levels of microplastic fibers, which come from ubiquitous sources such as synthetic clothing.

The study is part of an ongoing effort by researchers to close gaps in microplastics toxicity data that were identified by the California Ocean Protection Council in its Statewide Microplastics Strategy published last year.

The second and final exposure experiment, expected to begin early next year, will largely repeat the exposure experimental design, but this time using Pacific oysters. Researchers will study if these filter feeders have the potential to take up meaningful levels of microplastics in their bodies, thereby lowering exposure levels for other aquatic organisms.

More news related to: Emerging Contaminants, Trash Pollution