Sci Total Environ 2020 Mar 16;706:135978. Epub 2019 Dec 16.
Global Innovative Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials, School of Engineering, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Electronic address:
Scientific evidences abound of the occurrence of plastic pollution, from mega- to nano-sized plastics, in virtually all matrixes of the environment. Apart from the direct effects of plastics and microplastics pollution such as entanglement, inflammation of cells and gut blockage due to ingestion, plastics are also able to act as vectors of various chemical contaminants in the aquatic environment. This paper provides a review of the association of plastic additives with environmental microplastics, how the structure and composition of polymers influence sorption capacities and highlights some of the models that have been employed to interpret experimental data from recent sorption studies. The factors that influence the sorption of chemical contaminants such as the degree of crystallinity, surface weathering, and chemical properties of contaminants. and the implications of chemical sorption by plastics for the marine food web and human health are also discussed. It was however observed that most studies relied on pristine or artificially aged plastics rather than field plastic samples for studies on chemical sorption by plastics.