Organic contaminants sorbed to microplastics affect marine medaka fish early life stages development

By Florane Le Bihanic, Christelle Clérandeau, Bettie Cormier, Jean-Claude Crebassa, Steffen H. Keiter, Ricardo Beiras, Bénédicte Morin, Marie-Laure Bégout, Xavier Cousin, and Jérôme Cachot
Marin. Poll. Bull.
April 7, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111059

The role of polyethylene microplastics 4–6 μm size (MPs) in the toxicity of environmental compounds to fish early life stages (ELS) was investigated. Marine medaka Oryzias melastigma embryos and larvae were exposed to suspended MPs spiked with three model contaminants: benzo(a)pyrene (MP-BaP), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (MP-PFOS) and benzophenone-3 (MP-BP3) for 12 days. There was no evidence of MPs ingestion but MPs agglomerated on the surface of the chorion. Fish ELS exposed to virgin MPs did not show toxic effects. Exposure to MP-PFOS decreased embryonic survival and prevented hatching. Larvae exposed to MP-BaP or MP-BP3 exhibited reduced growth, increased developmental anomalies and abnormal behavior. Compared to equivalent waterborne concentrations, BaP and PFOS appeared to be more embryotoxic when spiked on MPs than when alone in seawater. These results suggest a relevant pollutant transfer by direct contact of MPs to fish ELS that should be included in the ecotoxicological risk assessment of MPs.

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