Toxicological interactions of microplastics/nanoplastics and environmental contaminants: Current knowledge and future perspectives.


Bhagat J(1), Nishimura N(1), Shimada Y(2).
Author information:
(1)Graduate School of Regional Innovation Studies, Mie University, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan; Mie University Zebrafish Drug Screening Center, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan.
(2)Mie University Zebrafish Drug Screening Center, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan; Department of Integrative Pharmacology, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan; Department of Bioinformatics, Mie University Advanced Science Research Promotion Center, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


The co-occurrence of microplastics/nanoplastics (MPs/NPs) with other environmental contaminants has stimulated a focus shift of its skyrocketed research publications (more than 3000 papers during 2016-2020, Web of Science) from ubiquitous occurrence to interactive toxicity. Here, in this review, we provided the current state of knowledge on toxicological interaction of MPs/NPs with co-contaminants (heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, nanoparticles, organohalogens, plastic additives, and organotins). We discussed the possible interactions (aggregation, adsorption, accumulation, transformation, desorption) that played a role in influencing the toxicity of the mixture. Besides, the type of interactions such as synergistic, antagonistic, potentiating was expounded to get a deeper mechanistic understanding. Despite the wide occurrence and usage, scant studies were available on polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate. Our analysis shows a dearth of research on common occurring heavy metals (mercury, lead, chromium), phthalates, personal care products. Considerations for environmental factors such as the presence of dissolved organic matter, pH, salinity, temperature, and effects of different colors and types of polymer are recommended.