PhD Carrasco Navarro Victor ja työryhmä (Plastails)

231200 €

Plastic chemical cocktails: fate and risks in freshwater ecosystems

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

Microplastic particles are far from being a simple 'plastic particle below 5mm in size'. In reality, they are very complex entities that include thousands of chemicals like plasticizers, flame retardants and surfactants (generally tagged under the term “additives”) that leach to water. However, the consequences of such massive presence of plastic (and additives) in our water environment are still mostly unknown. Information on the identification, toxicity and distribution of the additives in the aquatic environment is completely missing in most of the cases. Preliminary studies conducted in our laboratories have proven that the additives do cause toxicity to aquatic organisms. The goal of the project is to identify the plastic additives and study their accumulation and toxicity in freshwater biota. To do this, we will evaluate the distribution of additives in the water environment by characterizing the additives present in water and biota Additionally, their toxicity and risk assessment will be investigated in laboratory studies. The identification and quantification of the additives will be done through non target screening Gas and Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry techniques (GS- and LC-MS). The obtained data will contain the identification of the most relevant additives from different plastic materials and their leaching and ecotoxicological profiles. This will contribute to the establishment of regulations regarding the existence of these additives in water bodies and help to map the most harmful plastic additives and suggest them for substitution. Overall, the project will support the creation of action plans aiming at protecting and improving the status of inland water bodies regarding plastic pollution. The results will also be distributed for a maximum dissemination among scientists, citizens and manufacturers aiming at raising awareness and changing the habits regarding the use and disposal of microplastics.