Advertisement

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 2007–2012 | Cite as

Raman microspectroscopic identification of microplastic particles in freshwater bivalves (Unio pictorum) exposed to sewage treatment plant effluents under different exposure scenarios

  • Janina Domogalla-Urbansky
  • Philipp M. Anger
  • Hermann Ferling
  • Florian Rager
  • Alexandra C. Wiesheu
  • Reinhard Niessner
  • Natalia P. IvlevaEmail author
  • Julia SchwaigerEmail author
Short Research and Discussion Article

Abstract

We investigated the uptake of microplastic (MP, <5 mm) particles by using freshwater bivalves (Unio pictorum) as biological samplers in the environment. They were exposed either directly to the biologically purified sewage of a North Bavarian sewage treatment plant (STP) or placed in a small river up- and downstream of the wastewater discharge for 28 days and 6 months, respectively. A control group was maintained in a pond. After acid digestion, the soft tissue was analyzed for MP particles by means of Raman microspectroscopy (RM, over 3000 particles individually measured), which allows for identification and quantification of particles down to 1 μm. Only in the bivalve collective exposed to STP effluents MP was found, however a very small amount (maximum of nine MP particles in the bivalve sample exposed for 6 months). In the bivalves up- and downstream of the wastewater discharge and in control organisms from a pond, no microplastic was identified. The amount of microplastic particles was small in absolute terms and small in relative terms (ca. 1:100 (6 months) and below 1:1000 (28 days)) as hundreds of particles per sample were analyzed which turned out to be non-plastic. Including the results for the river, this indicates a rather low MP contamination level for organisms in close vicinity to a sewage treatment plant.

Keywords

Microplastic (MP) Aquatic environment Raman microspectroscopy (RM) Freshwater bivalve Sewage treatment plant (STP) 

Notes

Funding information

This work was funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection.

References

  1. Aldridge DC (1999) The morphology, growth and reproduction of Unionidae (Bivalvia) in a fenland waterway. J Molluscan Stud 65:47–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrady AL (2011) Microplastics in the marine environment. Mar Pollut Bull 62:1596–1605.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.05.030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnes DKA, Galgani F, Thompson RC, Barlaz M (2009) Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philos Trans R Soc Lond Ser B Biol Sci 364:1985–1998.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2008.0205 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Browne MA, Dissanayake A, Galloway TS, Lowe DM, Thompson RC (2008) Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel, Mytilus edulis (L.). Environ Sci Technol 42:5026–5031.  https://doi.org/10.1021/es800249a CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Browne MA, Crump P, Niven SJ, Teuten E, Tonkin A, Galloway T, Thompson R (2011) Accumulation of microplastic on shorelines woldwide: sources and sinks. Environ Sci Technol 45:9175–9179.  https://doi.org/10.1021/es201811s CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carr SA, Liu J, Tesoro AG (2016) Transport and fate of microplastic particles in wastewater treatment plants. Water Res 91:174–182.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.01.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. van Cauwenberghe L, Janssen CR (2014) Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption. Environ Pollut 193:65–70.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.06.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. van Cauwenberghe L, Claessens M, Vandegehuchte MB, Janssen CR (2015) Microplastics are taken up by mussels (Mytilus edulis) and lugworms (Arenicola marina) living in natural habitats. Environ Pollut 199:10–17.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.01.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Claessens M, van Cauwenberghe L, Vandegehuchte MB, Janssen CR (2013) New techniques for the detection of microplastics in sediments and field collected organisms. Mar Pollut Bull 70:227–233.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.03.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cole M, Lindeque P, Halsband C, Galloway TS (2011) Microplastics as contaminants in the marine environment: a review. Mar Pollut Bull 62:2588–2597.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.09.025 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farrell P, Nelson K (2013) Trophic level transfer of microplastic: Mytilus edulis (L.) to Carcinus maenas (L.). Environ Pollut 177:1–3.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2013.01.046 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Faure F, Corbaz M, Baecher H, De Alencastri LF (2012) Pollution due to plastics and microplastics in Lake Geneva and in the Mediterranean Sea. Arch Sci 65:157–164Google Scholar
  13. Fendall LS, Sewell MA (2009) Contributing to marine pollution by washing your face: microplastics in facial cleaners. Mar Pollut Bull 58:1225–1228.  https://doi.org/10.1016/J.MARPOLBUL.2009.04.025 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fliedner A, Rudel H, Teubner D, Buchmeier G, Lowis J, Heiss C, Wellmitz J, Koschorreck J (2016) Biota monitoring and the water framework directive-can normalization overcome shortcomings in sampling strategies? Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 23:21927–21939.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7442-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Imhof HK, Laforsch C, Wiesheu AC, Schmid J, Anger PM, Niessner R, Ivleva NP (2016) Pigments and plastic in limnetic ecosystems: a qualitative and quantitative study on microparticles of different size classes. Water Res 98:64–74.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.03.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ivleva NP, Wiesheu AC, Niessner R (2017) Microplastic in aquatic ecosystems. Angew Chem Int Ed 56:1720–1739.  https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201606957 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lebreton LCM, van der Zwet J, Damsteeg JW, Slat B, Andrady A, Reisser J (2017) River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans. Nat Commun 8:15611.  https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15611 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Leslie HA, van Velzen MJM, Vethaak AD (2013) Microplastic survey of the Dutch environment: novel data set of microplastics in North Sea sediments, treated wastewater effluents and marine biota. Institute for Enviromental Studies, VU Amsterdam, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  19. Li J, Yang D, Li L, Jabeen K, Shi H (2015) Microplastics in commercial bivalves from China. Environ Pollut 207:190–195.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.09.018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lithner D (2011) Environmental and health hazards of chemicals in plastic polymers and products. A PhD Thesis, University of Gothenburg, Schweden ISBN: 978–91–85529-46-9Google Scholar
  21. Morritt D, Stefanoudis PV, Pearce D, Crimmen OA, Clark PF (2014) Plastic in the Thames: a river runs through it. Mar Pollut Bull 78:196–200.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.10.035 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Murphy F, Ewins C, Carbonnier F, Quinn B (2016) Wastewater treatment works (WwTW) as a source of microplastics in the aquatic environment. Environ Sci Technol 50:5800–5808.  https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b05416 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paulus M, Teubner D, Rüdel H, Klein R (2015) Bioaccumulation and long-term monitoring in freshwater ecosystems – knowledge gained from 20 years of Zebra mussel analysis by the German Environmental Specimen Bank. In: Armon RH, Hänninen O (eds) Environmental indicators. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 781–803.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9499-2_44 Google Scholar
  24. Rech S, Macaya-Caquilpan V, Pantoja JF, Rivadeneira MM, Jofre Madariaga D, Thiel M (2014) Rivers as a source of marine litter--a study from the SE Pacific. Mar Pollut Bull 82:66–75.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.03.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sanchez W, Bender C, Porcher JM (2014) Wild gudgeons (Gobio gobio) from French rivers are contaminated by microplastics: preliminary study and first evidence. Environ Res 128:98–100.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2013.11.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Titow WV (1984) Rigid PVC: main products – production, properties and applications. In: PVC technology, Fourth edn. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 849–900.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5614-8

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bavarian Environment AgencyWielenbachGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Hydrochemistry, Chair of Analytical Chemistry and Water ChemistryTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

Personalised recommendations