Acta Vet. Brno 2021, 90: 99-107

Microplastics as a potential risk for aquatic environment organisms – a review

Aneta Hollerová1,2, Nikola Hodkovicová2, Jana Blahová1, Martin Faldyna2, Petr Maršálek1, Zdeňka Svobodová1

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Animal Protection and Welfare and Veterinary Public Health, Brno, Czech Republic
2Veterinary Research Institute, Department of Infectious Disease and Preventive Medicine, Brno, Czech Republic

Received September 30, 2020
Accepted February 24, 2021

In the modern world, plastic has become a major commodity on global scale and is presented in all life aspects. The production of plastics is increasing dramatically throughout the world and is considered to be a serious threat for the aquatic environment. Scientists started to raise questions as to where all the disappeared plastic debris had gone, as the plastic material is a persistent synthetic polymer. The disappearance of plastic suggests that microplastics are generated by fragmentation of larger plastic debris. They also enter the aquatic environment from the cosmetics, clothing, and other industrial manufacturing. Microplastic particles spread in the aquatic, terrestrial, and atmospheric environments due to their small size and ubiquity, showing their high bioavailability. The presence of microplastics has been demonstrated in the digestive tracts of most aquatic organisms at various trophic levels. Evidence of negative effects of microplastics has been found in relation to fertility, mortality, oxidative stress, immune system or metabolic processes.


This article was financially supported by the project IGA VFU 212/2019/FVHE and ERDF/ESF “PROFISHˮ no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0./16_019/0000869.


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