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Info sheet on microplastics in the environment

11. November 2015, Topic: Aquatic Ecotoxicology Sediment Ecotoxicology

Info sheet on microplastics in the environment

Microplastic particles are more and more found in oceans, lakes and rivers since they degrade very slowly and the use of plastic constantly increases . Most is known about the presence of these particles of a size <5 mm in the oceans. However, an inventory of the major Swiss lakes has shown that microplastics are omnipresent in Switzerland as well. Aquatic organisms ingest the microplastic particles, but still little is known about their ecotoxicological effects. However, laboratory studies have shown that plastic ingestion reduces food uptake in mussels and zooplankton and reduces reproduction in copepods . The info sheet "Microplastics in the environment" (available in German and French) summarizes the current knowledge and gives details on the sources of microplastic particles, their transport in the environment, their effect on aquatic organisms and techniques for sampling and analysis.

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